Carrying my moderately heavy and slightly overstuffed bag through the streets while dodging the vacant vessels of skin and bones is making a small bead of sweat form on my brow and a tiny ember of rage grow in the pit of my stomach. Everywhere seems like uphill right now and at that moment I remind myself of what I’m headed towards. Holding a rock in one hand and pushing against a hard place with the other, I’m walking towards a tiny hidden locker of uncertainty and half-truths. A place that’s cozy and warm but cut off from the world I know and should be a part of. The combination of pushing two worlds away from each other along with my mind and heart splitting apart is bringing me excruciating inner pain. The hot sweat gathering where my duffel rubs and rests on my back is becoming uncomfortable and annoying so I shift the strap further across my collar and skip a bit to jostle the bag into a new position.
I crest what seems like a hill but is likely my mind coming to ease as I generally get a hold of some calmness and map out my route through the narrow streets. I have this odd urge to always walk what seems the quickest way from A to B and this probably attributes to many of my lapses of ‘walk-rage’ but I’ve also found that the rhythmic roll of electronic drums and square base bring me comfort and pace in my strides. The only distraction from my auditory blinders is the clattering bell of the tram as it warns me only a few meters away of its imminent monstrous approach. A flash in my mind occurs on the validity of the brakes on the old rusty car hauling by me. I can almost hear each individual bolt, screw and rivet creak and bend as it whittles its corroded self down to slivers wondrously holding the carriage together in a cacophony of shuttering scrap metal. Perhaps the heap would crumble around me if it were ever to attempt to run me down. Sometimes I silently thank the mayhem of the outside world for butting into my stream of conscious white noise and reminding of where I need to turn.
I’m at your street and heading down towards your flat. It’s mere meters from the corner and as I step up to the main entrance door downstairs and ring the bell I am overcome with nervousness and anxiety. After a few seconds I am buzzed in and as my spirited strides carry me up the lung-burning stairs to the top floor I hear the chink of the door lock open followed by only the sound of my boots dusty heels pushing off of each stair in time to the light hiss of drum beats emanating from my earphones resting around my neck. I’m rounding the last mezzanine to your apartment and as I come to the door I’m looking up at you, your face alight with joy and excitement along with a sense of relief that I’m finally there. Nothing makes me feel more welcome, more expected and more needed. All residual negativity melts away from my tired soul and I say hello, kiss your cheeks and then embrace you kissing your warm neck and smelling your soft skin. I’ve missed this. I’ve missed this place and this feeling. But no longer. I am finally home…
The violent rocking of the boat is mentionable in respect to both how large the craft is and how rough the sea outside must be. I wouldn’t know as my cabin is located deep in the belly of the hull of the ship. I’ve been down here for an indeterminate amount of time but I’d guess for hours, maybe even a couple of days. The storm has been raging and turning the sea for a long time and our old vessel is being shaken and tossed about like a ball in a bingo rack. It creaks and moans as its salt-rusted joints bend and sway with every pitch of the hard unforgiving sea as it slams into the hull with a frightful force. But I trust this old boat. I’ve been sailing on this ship forever and these seas for even longer. As treacherous and unpredictable as the sea and weather is I still, and always will, have faith in my vessel and it’s old-handed crew. These men, these soldiers of the sea, have been a part of my crew for well over 20 years and even more have been my dear friends through life’s up and downs, like the tides along the shores. And like this ship we work and live in we all have character. We all have our stories and our winding roads we’ve been down, each of them leading us to one similar present destination. The bonds created between comrades on our shared seafaring journey are as strong as the iron welds and rivets holding this old boat together. We have our creaks and our groans, especially during rough times but we always stay strong and steadfast. A band of water gypsies roaming the open seas in search of our next port of call where we’ll gather our required supplies, find a place to drink, remember and then to forget. We always reminisce about the old days of land life and past loves and friendships but soon turn our thoughts back to the endless open expanse that is our true calling. Our home. The seas.
The last time I checked there was no one behind me and I haven’t seen a single car pass by. I’ve been hauling down this old dark road in the middle of the night in an old 60’s cadillac for as long as my mind allows me to remember. I’m comfortable like a captain on his ship, steering with one hand and a light touch, my eyes half closed. Like the hypnotic waves of the sea I watch the center lines run up and slip by in trance. The landscape around me is nothing more than silhouettes racing by as they underline a navy-blue dusk sky. Above me are a blanket of countless stars that are unmoving in the sky even as everything around me seems to go by at a mindless and blurry pace. I forget where I’m even going not to mention where I came from. But I savor this moment when nothing is known and nothing matters. A moment in which I just am. It’s me and the road and I’m driving this motherfucker. On this empty road to nowhere is where I feel at home. Like a migrant bird I travel by instinct, letting my inner compass take me where my soul needs to go. The irony of it all is that where I feel I need to be is in a transient place. No home and no roots, only forever in a changing loop of motion. From one place to the next I travel on this desert planet in a perpetual night, always chasing the dying sunlight on the horizon. It’s on this endless highway that I belong and it is on this endless highway that I will always be. Always moving and ways searching but for what I might never know.
I come home, but no one is there. I reach out, but no reaches back. No warmth. I fumble in the dark looking for something familiar, but the space is just empty and cold. I know I’m not alone, but I’m left in a deafening silence. To know you’re there and to know you’re alive does nothing for me but twist my stomach and mind. Heavy and sour are my insides as I think too much. If only closing my eyes would help me escape I would do it forever. But like a cold wet blanket upon my shoulders I cannot shake free. It seeps into my bones and aches my muscles to the core. I scream at the top of my lungs and yet I hear nothing, no reflection and no echo. Just deafening silence.