Finally, he divorced his wife and quit his job. He thought that having left everything and everyone he would write a great serious novel. Of course! He had brought Apollo such a sacrifice—abandoned his family, his job as a journalist, his money! But, alas, all this didn’t mean shit to Apollo.

Hundreds of sheets of paper, marred by his scribbles, flew into the garbage can. Fire did not burn in a single line. He had nothing to write about; he was detached from everything; his soul was dead. He was able to see and hear only himself, and to have empathy only for himself. And vanity continued to suffocate him.

In the end, David, luckily a journalist and the author of two books, allegedly a young and promising writer, stopped writing at all. He faded and even went prematurely bald. Then David, bald and encased in silence, began to drink heavily, leaning in particular on Jack Daniel’s. His heart was less gloomy and grew warmer with the whiskey, but his head throbbed from the hangover.

He was not only no genius, but he’d hit a dead end as a writer, and he needed courage to admit this and accept it.

One morning, with his head spinning from a hangover, he went to the synagogue near the house he had moved into since he divorced. He met a grey-bearded rabbi. He confessed to him that he wanted to kill himself.

What did they talk about next, sitting on the bench in that empty synagogue, where there stood a pulpit, and where one hour previously a scroll of Torah wrapped in purple velvet had been placed? Letters in ancient Hebrew and a gold star were sewn upon the velvet. To be sure, the inscription spoke of God, who Himself knows why He beckons to the heavens by angelic voices, but instead of ascensions, He tramples down a person in pigsties. And He demands cruelly: “Love me, the human and be grateful for everything! For I am your God. It’s for Me to know to whom to give and from whom to take, to whom to give a lot, and to whom to throw just one pitiful coin. But woe to the one who refuses or does not appreciate ANY of my gifts.”

David nodded his head, agreeing with the ancient wisdom of the rabbi that he needs to learn how to live in silence, and that writing is neither the goal nor the meaning of life but only one facet of the rich human heart.