Knowing No Sorrow

Sometimes life seemed meaningless.

Jiraiya sat crosslegged in the shade of a good tree, a fine brush in his hand, his favorite expensive black ink, permanent ink to guard against the harsh conditions he put his scrolls through, already soaked into the sensitive fibers of his brush. His scroll lay unrolled across his lap, waiting for his words to come.

They didn't come.

He was distracted; he stroked a lock of his snowy white hair trailing on the ground next to him and forced the extraneous thoughts from his head.

There was no reason for this. He was perfectly happy. What was there to be unhappy about?

He was happy. He was the guy who was always happy. He couldn't fail now.

Jiraiya frowned at himself, his brow furrowing. He'd forgotten the thought that had prompted him to unroll the scroll and prepare to write in the first place.

He studied the pattern of the sun on the grass instead, noting the pattern of the sun through the branches and leaves of the tree he sat under. Gold and black, imprinted on green. Now that was an image. Maybe he'd just doodle that instead.

Fifteen minutes later, Jiraiya had a spider web of incomprehensible lines. He wanted to smear his hand across the scroll in frustration, blur the lines before they dried and erase them, erase his efforts, his hopes for the painting.

Nothing had any meaning anymore.

Stop thinking that, he told himself irritably. Everything is fine. Why must you be so morose and cold? It's like the sun can't touch you.

He sighed. He was cold. He was still cold, even after walking here in the sun, with the sun high in the sky and beating down on him with full summer heat. He was still cold.

The cold came from the inside, where the sun couldn't reach.

Poetic, Jiraiya thought, but not helpful. He dubiously scribbled that down in his notebook anyway, leaving the scroll to dry in the sun where he set it out. Pencil smeared, so when a thought was important, he didn't bother with the notebook he kept tucked in an inner pocket of his haori.

He wished he'd forget that thought instead of hanging onto it. Emotional truth it might be, but he was miserable.

Wait. Why am I miserable? Miserable? I can't be. I'm Jiraiya. Jiraiya, as defined by himself, was the Noble White-Haired Warrior Who Knew No Sorrow. Among other things.

Sadness was a weakness. He didn't get sad. He wrote romance and poetry. He didn't sit around and cry. No mourning for him. Mourning was an inability to move on ahead and put the past behind you. And why should he feel regret? Regrets were what people drank to forget. He didn't drink to forget. He drank to have fun.

Cause I'm a fun-havin' kinda guy.

That settled, he went on with his life. Even if he couldn't write anything. I just need some inspiration. That's it.

Jiraiya stood, brushed himself off, and resolved to find some inspiration at the nearest hot spring. Not to mention the hot water would be good for his pores. Just wash away all this crappy sadness stuff. None of that now. Worries give you wrinkles.