I am not sure that I exist, actually.
I am all the writers that I have read
All the people that I have met
All the women that I have loved;
All the cities I have visited.
— Jorge Luis Borges
He had his grandpa's eyes. His mother's long limbs. Whenever he concentrated hard on something he bit his lower lip, just like his father. He drove like a maniac, pedal to the metal, the way his uncle taught him to. At the age of nineteen he tattooed a chinese word—the meaning of which he never discovered—across his calf the same way his best mate had done. He only drunk single malt whisky, even though he could not really afford it, because he was told to do so by his high-school tutor. As an undergrad he wrote poems trying to be at times TS Elliot, Dante, Beaudelaire, Tranströmer, Auden—more often than not all of them at once. It was that same time that he learned how to kiss (exactly the way his girlfriend showed him to), have sex (ditto), break up, pretend, sit in silence (ditto, ditto, ditto). After his degree his hair quickly turned grey, as had his grandpa's. He wrote his (then ex) girlfriend a long letter, mailed without a stamp to ensure it would get lost, like his mother once did before leaving his father. He started drinking as had his father. He lived alone (within crowds), in a solitude that everyone said resembled his uncle's. He took a long trip to Latin America, hiking along the Andes, the same way his best mate once had—both coming back a month early. He refused to do anything but part-time jobs, because he remembered his high-school tutor talking of workaholic slaves. Half-drunk he tried to write the great contemporary novel mimicking Kafka, Ford, Joyce, McCarthy, and Faulkner all at the same time. He met a girl working the front desk at the publishing house that kept rejecting his drafts. He went out with her. He kissed and had sex with her, then broke up, pretended, and sat in silence—her last SMS said: you seem to do all things as if you were anyone but you. He decided to be himself and jumped sober off a bridge one night.