The Song of the Meandering Wanderer

To be alive is to be passed around like a coin between places, to stay for a little while as a coin often finds home in a pocket or wallet. Then, when the time comes: to leave. No one can stay anywhere forever, but of course, all coins eventually get forgotten in a drawer, and people call someplace their home. This is what makes it all meaningful, after all. We walk from one place to another in search of one we would never walk away from, no matter what promises are given to us. I do not fear many things, but I do fear never being able to find such a place, to be stuck in the middle of it forevermore.

I fear obsolescence—becoming so redundant to the lives of others, to every place I have ever set foot in that my presence or absence makes no difference whatsoever. I fear touching so many lives, but it always being touch and go, never being an afterthought because I was a little too occupied with things the others could not care much about, a bit too much of who I am, and I become. I fear starring in a couple of stories everyone remembers but not their narrative. Like a character written out because he did not fit too well in any part of where the story was going, left with a forcibly resolved arc around the halfway mark as the others embark towards the end of the tale. Of course, it is natural to be afraid of something. Worry is an instinct.

As I sip my coffee, I tell myself this, watching the day get on like I have before a thousand times over. Cliche as it may be: we all want to belong somewhere, eventually. It is what defines the wandering. It has to come to an end, or else you may as well never move; you may stay put, never try your hand at a new place, at new people. Perhaps, that is what scares me the most: wandering forever. For all my preference for walking towards nowhere in particular, I, too, wish there was a milestone in sight sometimes. Today is such a day. Yesterday was a day like this, too. The day before that wasn’t so far apart from them either. I have walked far too long as instructed. I have passed so many people by; I have lost count. The road stretches on. There is nothing in sight still.

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