What did he fear? It was not a fear or dread, It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and man was a nothing too.
An old man drinking alone. A man that won't leave, a young waiter in a hurry to go home to his wife and another waiter. It is as simple as that. The complexity that left me stunned lies beneath that simple plot that unfolds with the help of Hemingway's characteristic style. And, once more, the economy of words cannot tame the torrent of emotions that can take over even the most distracted of readers.
Every mortal must face loneliness. They do it in their unique ways.
Some people try to divert their attention away from the loud silence of introspection, so they focus on work. Or they turn on the TV. Or run to their wives or husbands, pitying those less fortunate, thinking that they will never feel that kind of despair. Forgetting about the fleeting essence of youth.
Some people pour brandy into a shiny glass, feeling the silence of the night in a clean, well-lighted place. For neither money nor youth are enough to banish despair from a too sentimental soul.
Some people watch. They watch the rest of humanity facing their loneliness and try to provide a clean place with decent light to those in need. They face their loneliness helping other to face theirs, in the best way possible. It gets intense. It is an uncontrollable force that reduces the world to nothing. A man in the vastness of this universe; nothing. A god in the mind of the desperate who cannot feel his presence; nothing. The human being trying to find meaning in the context of human nature's absurdity; nothing.
My first five stars are dedicated to nothingness. To an eternal search. To Hemingway and his detached writing that left me amidst the chaotic silence of my room, contemplating nada.