So things wither and die

September 1, 2004

So things wither and die and you move on. Move on to the next thing, wondering why has the last thing died. Somewhere along the line I stopped wondering. I just moved on. So it seems like I am always moving on. From one thing to another. Nothing lasts. Nothing comes as a lasting comfort. Only a transitory comfort.

I tell myself this is how things are, no point bemoaning how things are. I rarely look back, rarely mull over things that are dead and gone. Yet I’ve come from somewhere, I didn’t originate from nothing, at least not today. So I can’t help bringing things along with me. They must hide in corners, afraid to show themselves to me, baby things I might strangle and not let live, that seem like part of yesterday, but are really part of tomorrow. So I’ve stopped looking in the dark corners too, like a horse with blinkers made of bright light, you still don’t turn the head, you might be blinded by the peripheral brightness. You dip your eyes to the dusty ground and walk, walk nowhere, where the only objective is carrying on, one foot in front of the other, never arriving anywhere, always leaving somewhere. It’s been like this for years.

They get off my path when they see me coming, out into the blinding light. I don’t follow them with my eyes. I may only see the dust clouds they kick up as they go, I don’t lift my eyes to look at their faces, I just carry on, one foot after the other. Occasionally a voice calls from the brightness, but it may as well be a voice in the fog. The voice always gets quieter, never louder. I don’t think I choose to walk away, I just walk, but I do walk away. Unless they are walking away, or perhaps not even addressing me. I don’t think they see me, but they must see me. I prefer to think they just don’t want to look, not really look, they’d rather avert their glance and I’d rather not lift my head.

They don’t know me. Those who know me are always saying goodbye. I don’t recall being greeted as a stranger who will become a friend, although I suppose it must have happened sometime. I don’t think about it. I just carry on. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve always been going there. Sights and scenes rush by only as if in dream. I am not sure my experience has anything about it to persuade me I am alive, and death does not seem to hold any meaning either. Like empty bags, why am I carrying them? To put things in I may collect along the way? But I have put nothing in them, why am I carrying them? If I put them down though it will change too much. Better they rot away, before me or after me, it doesn’t matter. Or that they may be snatched away by unseen hands. I don’t expect to find anything to put in them now. But it is always possible I might.

I cannot know what it is like to be full of life. I am not really living. I am just trudging on. There is nothing there. It seems an improvement on times when I cared, when I never knew I had to leave everything behind, when I was afraid to love. Probably I could love now, but there is nothing here to love. And a thought comes, a thought the like of which has never come before: turn back.