“No one sees the barn,” he said finally.
A long silence followed.
“Once you’ve seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn.”
He fell silent once more. People with camera left the elevated site, replaced at once by others.
“We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies.”
There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.
“Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We’ve agreed to be part of a collective perception. This literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism.”
Another silence ensued.
“They’re taking pictures of taking pictures,” he said.
Assaulted by ocean breeze, the boy walked on, following the worn track through the trees and toward the beach. At the waterfront he gazed into the water and lost himself in its volume. Still, he could not help but wish curses upon those who had wronged him. He kicked at small stones, feeling bitterness and suffering the injustice of it all. In his mind he tore his tormentors down; they were forced to acknowledge their wrong-doing; that his essence was more pure, more worthy than theirs could ever be.
These were childish thoughts, he knew, but they granted him a temporary feeling of power. He continued on the path onwards and upwards to a rocky peak above the waves. There he sat cross legged on a stone ledge and looked out to the horizon. He let the open space clear his mind, allowing the rhythmic beating of the waves eroding his sense of self. He focused inwardly and slowed his breath; he opened himself up to let the winds ring inside. As the sun warmed his body, the earth cooled his soul.
Up there on the peak the boy let his self dissolve.
At this point words become unnecessary - worse, they are useless; inherently false; clumsy, unwieldy objects that fundamentally fail to capture the essence of the moment.
The boy rested; allowed himself to be restored. Soon he would walk down the path once more to face the absurdity of the world.