He spent whole days in the cottage writing, never deciding on a proper mode. His lone obsession was the act of transcribing onto paper what he understood to be true. He saw it as his duty to take account of life as he knew it. There was nothing brilliant about a tax receipt until the paper and ink used to write it lasted a thousand years in the ground. Even then, if it were unintelligible, it would hold no value. The value was in the insight it contained, insight into another world, familiar yet altogether different. He tried to separate his fiction from his non-fiction, his poetry from his prose. He didn’t know which part of himself was the most honest, or maybe which contained the most insight. He had trouble differentiating between the faults in his memory and the little mistruths he would tell himself in the moment and then never question.
He spent most of his time writing, subsisting mainly off tomatoes. Before he moved to the cottage in the spring, he remembered when he was younger, and it seemed everyone was offering his mother tomatoes even though she was growing her own and had plenty to share herself. He thought of the tomato plant that took over his grandfather’s garden and decided it seemed a stubborn enough food source for his inexperienced hands to manage. Soon after seeding, tomatoes overran the off-white side panelling of the cottage all the way up to and beneath his dark cedar deck. He tried to pickle them for the impending winter, but he always got the brine wrong and the fruit perished within days.