The rain lashed against the window so loudly, the scratching of the phonograph needle suddenly became a simple, but monotonous background noise. For a moment, Mason thought about getting up to turn the record, but he decided against it. Somehow, the interaction between technology and nature had a calming effect on him. And with his arms crossed behind his head, he lay on his bed which he had positioned in the middle of his room years ago. He stared at the ceiling, trying to organize his thoughts. And perhaps the monotonous noise would help rather than the voice of an unknown artist whose LP he had been listening to a few minutes ago.

He hated these days as much as he loved them. He hated them because he became a prisoner of his own inner demons. Often, it was nearly impossible to escape the dwindling spiral once it was set in motion. And he loved them because these days gave him the opportunity to understand himself.

Today, however, it seemed like the demons were about to win.

Mason was a normal 27-year-old young man. He had successfully graduated in literature studies with a very good degree, had worked his first real job and could count on a handful of real friends. His appearance could be described as average, as he was probably one of thousands living every day life in jeans, T-shirts and Converse. He also followed the trend of colorful drawings on human skin, and therefore couldn’t stand out in the crowd. Although he thought for himself that the ink on his arm had a deeper meaning and could not be found on 20 different bodies. But that’s what all tattooed people used to say when they were too embarrassed to admit where the idea for their embellishment came from.

Mason also did not believe that he was the only person in the world who had real problems or the hardest life to live. On the contrary, he knew what privileges he had as a citizen of a western country. He also knew that there were countries in the world where war was destroying cities/homes and people had to worry about their lives every day. But even knowing all of this could not stop his dark thoughts, could not stop him from experiencing these dark days.

Eight years. It has been eight years since he had responded “to a life full of adventures” when being asked where he would like to set sail to. But had he really experienced adventures? Did studying at one of the most prestigious universities count as one? Was it possible to call a weekend trip a sequence of risky ventures? Did he grow up according to plan?

The young man forced himself to sit up, averted his eyes from the ceiling, and looked out the window. The sky was gray, it couldn’t look more miserable. And yet it should be the opposite, because after all, it was spring. That very season, when everyone seemed happy and at ease, always ready to do something new, and yet everyone was just looking forward to summer.

Mason could not really understand why people liked spring so much. He was more an autumn type and could spent days lying on his couch drinking tea and devouring books. Actually, he spent most of the year like that, but in autumn this way of life seemed generally accepted. After all, only the especially nature-minded dared to venture into the threatening cold and these awful autumn winds. Mason started to reminisce eagerly of the last year’s autumn when he had just finished his master’s degree. That fall, he had finally been able again to read huge tomes just for pleasure, and not as part of his studies. He had managed to read Stephen King’s IT. A book that anyone could talk about because they had seen the movie, but few have actually had read it. A book that has more than 1800 pages and – unlike the filming – puts the focus on the relationships between adults who swore an oath as children. IT was simply a book that was so much more than just a thriller lying on his bedside table.

Mason had enjoyed every second of reading IT at that time. And every now and again, he even had to put the tome aside in disbelief, because he was impressed by the eloquence and the inventiveness of the American author. But now, two years later, on that particular gray spring day, he wished he had not read the book yet, and once again had a chance to re-meet the characters.

The ringtone of his phone brought him back into reality. It took him a moment to find the little black device. The image of a dark-haired, young woman appeared on the home screen and smiled at him. However, Mason hesitated. Did he really want to talk to someone right now?