It doesn't feel like it's been more than a few days. But I know it has. I think it has. I didn't think enough to bring a calendar, and my fancy digital watch has seen better days. Batteries, it seems will be my downfall. Come to think of it, I didn't think enough to bring anything. Just my jacket and whatever happened to be in my pocket. A half a pack of gum that seems to have gone through the washing machine more than once. Some loose change, a grocery list and my wallet. All of which, save for the gum, are of absolutely no use to me.
I don't feel stupid for not bringing the necessities. These are the types of things you simply don't plan for. They just happen. For what reason, I'm not sure, but I was drawn to this place, and now I sit here, waiting.
It was very late one night, or early in the morning if you want to get technical. I was lying on the couch, watching an infomercial; it got to the point where I wasn't entirely sure what it was they were trying to sell. Was it bad acting? Cheesy music? Ridiculously high prices? I couldn't figure it out. Even though I'd watched the same ad for weeks in a row now. But then, it hit me; I no longer knew what it was these strange people were telling me I needed. I was at a loss. I knew and felt, that it was important I try and figure it out, so I had to leave this place.
I know now, this had nothing to do with the infomercial I had been somberly engaged in. I was completely devoid of sleep and had been for several days. I cannot explain it. I won't even try. A man in my position had better keep his mouth shut. All I know is that something in my life wasn't right. And who better to change it, than me?
I put on my jacket and grabbed my wallet before heading out the door of my apartment. I stepped out into the darkness and looked at my watch. It didn't work. How long had it stopped working? I wondered. I shook my wrist and placed the watch close to my ear. All the while knowing full well a digital watch doesn't make a sound. I then proceeded to walk down the sidewalk. My eyes went from following the cracks in the pavement to spotting pieces of previously chewed gum, and finally to discarded cigarette butts and the like.
I found myself admiring simple things that I might have previously taken for granted. For instance, the fact that I had been walking, seemingly stuck to the ground, forced me to thank gravity, for the great job it does. Hold me down.
After quite some time, passing nameless closed shops and stores. I decided I needed to sit. And so I did. I can't begin to describe it. But sitting there was unlike any other time I had ever sat. I felt relaxed, and comfortable. Most of all, I seemed to know where I was headed. Concrete directions. I like that.
After only a few minutes I returned to my feet. I walked for some time, and coincidentally realized I had a craving for some gum. I reached into my pocket and felt around, amongst some lint and pennies; I found a pack of gum. It seemed, after all, some things do work out. I admired the taste of the gum, as I chewed it slowly.
I never did like the city so much. Maybe that's why I'm where I am today. Maybe it's fate that took over, that one, strange night. I remember not knowing where I was going, but at the same time, I had to go on. And I knew it would be great.
You see, there comes a time in life where you realize what it is you are doing and what it is you'd much rather be doing instead. These feelings may rack your brain for some time, but eventually, the same conclusion is reached. You've got to cut your losses, and shuffle things up a bit. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes it isn't. But at least it's a shuffle.
The city in which I lived had only one major road. To the south it entered the town. To the North it also entered the town, but at this time, it just happened to play a role as my exit.
I followed the road North for quite some time not seeing any signs of life. Counting the ocean made of stars. It was early morning before I had to take a short break. I stopped suddenly and can recall slowly turning around. What I saw will never fade from my memory. The road I had been walking was a long one, no doubt. But also incredibly flat. I gazed back upon the path I had traveled and marveled at the lights that made up the city. Had I already gone this far? It amazed me. The lights lit up the surrounding sky like a marvelous atomic bomb. At that point in time I made an explosion noise with my mouth. Spit flew in all directions. I turned back and kept walking. Smiling to myself.
I don't know why people are drawn to places they have never been. But it happens all the time. Why do some people vacation in Hawaii, while others go to Alaska? Because they feel the need to be someplace where they are completely new. It's kind of like hitting the reset button. But only for a week or two. Then you'll be back to the life and place you'd much rather leave behind.
I remember walking, for some time only to have my mind wander. Back to that infomercial. I couldn't even remember what they were selling anymore, Only 5 easy payments of $29.95, though. I can remember it being the type of thing that nobody should be without. Yet, prior to seeing the infomercial, I never had the need for one. Funny how those things work.
Not knowing something exists is easier than knowing that it does, and you can't have it.
That's how my problems started. Everything, I mean. I can almost feel the possibility of thanking a redundant infomercial for saving me. For giving me that push forward, when it was easier to fall back.
I walked all night and all morning. By 10:00 the next day I was farther away from the city than I had ever been. I could look back, and see the horizon stretch endlessly, without seeing a single thing. It was around this time I found my way to a small roadside diner. I sat down and fiddled with the dull fork and knife that was placed in front of me. A few minutes later an attractive young lady asked if she could take my order. "Yeah, sure. Just fried eggs and coffee, please" I had never liked either of the two items, but felt compelled to order them anyway. Only 5 minutes later, there in front of me were two fried eggs and a large, steaming cup of black coffee. I stared at them for a while. Then got up and left. On the road again.
It's almost as if I was living out the routine of somebody else. To me, this was anything but routine, but I carried on anyway. And it felt right.
I can't tell you the reasoning behind me just leaving. Trust me. I've tried to tell myself, but always get confronted with the same empty void in my mind. Like I know everything, except why I did what I did. Like I was operated on, and the doctors decided I was better off without that bit of knowledge. Maybe they have it in a jar somewhere. It'd be labeled "Things you don't need to know"
I don't doubt that there is a reason. But I'm still looking for one. Maybe it's a lost cause. But I've got nothing else to live for. Just a reason I'll never know.
From the outside, I suppose it looked like I lived a fairly decent life. Like there was no reason to reposition myself the way I did. Or to leave everything I knew behind. I just had to shuffle things a bit.
Cause and effect is directly related to reason. It's an equation that can fit almost every situation and problem we encounter. You can just fill in the blanks and chances are, you'll have the reasons. You'll know who you are. You'll know why you're there. And you'll know where you are going.
You just won't know what's missing or what could have been. It isn't part of the equation. It doesn't fit. Nothing fits. Round hole, square peg. That type of thing. And most people are fine with it. That part of the equation wasn't supposed to be realized. Those are the types of things that are hardest to change. So most people don't bother with them.
If you do bother, be prepared to walk. Buy some new shoes, and for the love of god, bring more than a pack of gum and some loose change. Cause when you get here, there ain't no going back.
Written and owned by Dan Chubaty