I once walked alone through the only city I could ever live in, and I came across a road I had walked down many times before. I stopped at stared down the street, and I said to myself, Strange; this was a one-way street last time I was here.
No other living beings traveled the street, but at the end of the street I could see you standing there, looking towards me. I waved at you, and you waved back. The distance between us was too great to talk to each other, and too great to walk had we had anything more pressing to attend to. I had other things to attend to, but nothing more pressing, so I began walking down the street.
I took note of the lack of trash on the street. The lack of houses. The lack of doors, of windows. The lack of cars. The lack of people. It was just me, and you except you didn’t walk down the street. You stayed where you were and you watched as I walked.
The road was familiar to me, but I couldn’t remember any of the times I had walked it before. Nothing familiar ever stands out. Walk a distance once only and you notice every single step; walk a distance a thousand times and you reach the end without realizing you had even started.
I remembered running down this street a few times before, but I couldn’t remember why, and I couldn’t remember for who. I thought about running this time, but reaching the destination without paying attention to the journey, and then finding the destination not worth the journey, is like waking up before falling asleep.
I reached the halfway point between us, and you waved again, but didn’t move. You yelled something to me, and I could hear you, but I didn’t know what you had said. I cupped my hand to my ear, and you repeated, but still it was the same. I noticed a line drawn across the pavement. Why the line had been placed at the halfway point was anyone’s guess but mine. Next to the street sat two faded lawn chairs, one yellow with thin green stripes, the other blue with thin yellow stripes.
I continued on at a quicker pace, the knowing that I was growing closer to you propelling me to walk faster. I looked behind me as I walked, and was surprised at the distance I had covered. Having eyes set on the destination keeps the distance from feeling what it really is.
I grew closer to you, able to see the details in your face and design. The colors of your clothes. The style of your hair. The shade of your eyes.
I noticed a stain on the pavement in front of me, stepped over it, and continued on, then did the same with another stain.
I was within earshot of you by this time, but you were on your phone talking to someone. You had turned away from me, and I couldn’t hear what you were saying, not that I would have eavesdropped on you had I could. We assume everyone else should live their lives by the same priorities we do, and I value my personal space.
I finally reached the end of the street. I was close enough to reach out and touch your shoulder, but I did not. I could hear what you were saying into the phone, but I chose not to listen. The difference between hearing and listening is a choice people always seem to choose at the wrong times.
I looked back again, at the full distance of the street. I saw where I had come from, and I took note of how far it really was. Where I had been was nothing more than a hazy memory, a tiny speck in the air. I looked at the distant stains in the street, and while I knew that I should remember how they got there I chose to not think about it.
You finished talking on the phone, and I turned back to you as you turned to me. You smiled, and I felt that the journey had been worth the destination.
You held up the phone for a second, and then said to me, I have to go meet a friend. I’m already late, you said.
We hugged, and I felt that the destination had been worth the journey.
Talk soon? I said.
You agreed that we would, and then you walked away. Walking away was easy for you; you hadn’t gone anywhere out of your way. You walked away, and I was left standing as alone as I had been at the other end of the street. I watched you walk until I could no longer see you, then I looked back down the street I had traveled to be with you.
I knew that with the walk back the distance would feel what it really was.
I remembered where the stains had come from.
I remembered why this was a one-way street the last time I had seen it.
I remembered why the street was so empty.
I remembered why no one else walked it.
I looked back to where I had last seen you, thinking that maybe if I saw you one more time it would again make the journey feel worth the destination, but you were already gone.
I looked back at the street I had traveled. I thought about running down the street as fast as I could, just to get the journey over with, but I knew that it would bring me to a destination no better than my current one, so I instead sighed and took my first step.
Living in the only city I could ever live in, walking the only streets I could ever traverse, knowing that sometimes even the two-lane roads end up a one-way street.
If you love someone, set them free. If they don’t come back, text them when you’re drunk.
I wrote a book. Actually, I wrote a bunch of stories and I put them into a book. And you should read it. Them.
A boy who talks to animals through whistles. A cannibal who hunts teenaged boys and girls. Zombies. Aliens. Love. Death. Humor. Tragedy. A vast collection of stories stemming from the realm of fiction, a realm often influenced by the real world around us. These stories are your escape from, and therefore into, the world surrounding us.
Possibly the best thing to ever come from this film.
It’s not my birthday, but I’m going to spend today pretending it is (Taken with Instagram)