Memories from a future that never existedSubmitted by Spam at 2009-04-22 12:21:00 EDT
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Light from the rising sun finally starts to leak over the horizon and I wish I could follow this up with some kind of clichéd metaphor and tell you that the beginning of this particular dawn was going to symbolise the start of a new era for me, full of hope and promise. But the harsh fact of the matter is it's been close to daylight for the last hour or so of my trudge and so all that postulating about it always being darkest before the dawn just seems like the stalest of bullshit.
A couple of birds begin to chirp as they sit in the blossoming trees that line the country road and all around me signs are showing that the world is starting to rouse from it's winter slumber and I'll tell you again, my weary companions, that there's nothing analogous about this setting because I haven't slept for days and right now, all I wanna do is go into hibernation and rest myself for a playful summer.
But for some cats that aint an option, not right now anyway, so I put my head down and continue to walk that long aching stagger across the miles of empty roadway. As I stare at the ground and watch the asphalt as it passes underfoot, I notice that my hours of trekking have left a layer of mud caked over the bottoms of my trousers and I really wish that this was the whole reason why my legs feel so godamned heavy but really, I know and you know, it's just because I'm tired of walking. But there's still a way to go and, as the old saying goes, if you're standing still when everybody else continues to pass you, you may as well be moving backwards. So the march continues.
But we're used to this by now my friends because we've been through this together before right? So we know the moves, the ways to make the miles pass quicker and so I lock myself into the weary traveler's trick and flick over onto autopilot as I allow my thoughts to flow onto other matters, the ethereal and the oh so real.
Firstly, there's the inescapable truth. The reality that this isn't how it was supposed to go. Not in the short term and certainly not when you step back and view the big picture. We were never supposed to part ways the way we did, her and I, and I was never supposed to pick this, the lonely trudge through the night home, instead of being back there wrapped up in the blissful comfort of a soft bed and a warm woman. Sometimes though, that's just how things go.
The time for anger is gone though, passed some time back. The time for anger was back at that barn I stopped at a few hours prior when it was still pitch dark and there was a hint of chill remaining in the dew-laden air. And yeah, you'd be right I guess, to tell me that I had this coming, that, sooner or later, she was gonna lose patience with me, with my cold heart and quick feet. And sure, my trusted confidents, we know it was gonna be different this time, that I meant it, that I'd made my mind up and thrown the reservations out the window, that I really was willing to give it a serious go this time. But she didn't know that man, and I suppose, if we all look at this clinically, her decision to set this up as some kind of twisted revenge play is kind of understandable.
But please friends, don't think ill of me for getting angry back there, because when you're sitting in dilapidated armchair in an abandoned roadside barn at 4am picking splinters out of your feet because the soles of your shoes wore through a few miles back, you tell me that you'll be able to go all Zen and simply accept the Cause of your Effect.
It's all cool now though I guess, all I gotta do is get to the station and then home and then we can all go sleep and forget the twisted wreckage of this night that was supposed to be so sweet and while it may seem like quite a ways to go, most of the hard part is done and my feet, bloodied and sore as they are, they've got some miles left in them yet brothers, believe me.
All journeys though, no matter how arduous and dull, no matter how many miles and miles of country Nothing that may pass you by, they've always got those stand-out moments, those dioramas of dreamy significance that force you to cease everything, stop walking and stop thinking, just take it all in. Breathe in the moment. That barn back there was one of those. Full of somebody else's long-forgotten possessions. left there to rot and grow weed-ridden as nature's entropy took over. Even if I knew how to find it again, I'll never go back there, so in reality it may not have ever really existed, but It was a peaceful place man, and for the short period I stayed there, I loved it.
So when I finally decide to look up from the ground and I see a horse standing in the middle of the road, untended and uncaring, I know straightaway, this is another one of those moments.
And I don't know whose horse it is or how it got here because there hasn't been a building for the last 6 miles at least and it can't be a wild bastard because it's too fucking beautiful for that but none of that really matters anyway because here he is, flanks unblemished and black as death, just standing there blocking my way, staring a stoic challenge at me with liquid eyes.
I wish I could tell you how long we spend together, this horse and I, but I really can't keep track. There's no playful words exchanged in childish tones and I don't even consider petting or touching him, he doesn't deserve that kind of patronisation. Instead we just stand there blocking the empty road, starring at each other at 6am on a sunny Sunday morning.
After a time, I move to walk round him and he lets out a little neigh of acknowledgement so I nod respectfully and carry on my way, not wanting to kill a moment so perfect
In the distance I see the train station and I know the journey's almost done, well this leg at least. And yeah, I may have caught a broken heart and ruined my suit, and yeah, my shoes may be worn away and my feet broken and torn but despite all this ache and fatigue, it's all worth it man. But I'm not quite sure why.
But the realisation doesn't really hit home till I board the first train home and slumped opposite me is a similar vagabond, a kid a few years my junior looking equally travel-stained and ruined. There's a sadness to his face and an unshed tear in his eye though and I know straightaway that he's had the same night as me, gone through the same motions, and I know: He's only sad because he's not realised, not worked it all out yet; He still thinks he's failed.
And I want explain it all to him man, so desperately. I want to tell him that it doesn't matter where you start in this story of ours called life or whether the tale draws to a close the way you want it to. I want to tell him that its all about the Journey and those brief moments of lucidity that make you stop and stare, the weathered old barn to take some rest, the mysterious horse that blocks your path. And those other fuckers, the drones who chose the easy route, they miss out on all this shit because they're too busy concentrating on the destination. A to B. They miss the fucking point, don't get to see the world the same way as the road faring journeyman. I want to tell him that he needs to shake off his sadness, this kindred spirit, that he needs to realise the real truth behind it all.
Because we're heroes, Him and I.
And we can do anything.