The Long Walk

What a long walk.My legs are tired, but still moving, lungs are aching, but breathing still.

I’ve passed many things…fruit trees and truck stops and pig farms and housing blocks and drug corners. Can hardly tell a difference anymore.  Not because they look the same, but because perception slows to a crawl, like a happy aimless baby.

All we’re left with are snippets, the briefest of recollections, immediate to the smell or touch or ear though they may be. For example, I heard this song, and although it reminded me of you I don’t think we’ve ever met.

Maybe I passed you on some lush tropical footpath, or under the dullest of concrete overpass monstrosities.  A dream? An imaginative thought? Do you remember?

I get tired of walking, and my simpler instincts say ‘stop.’ So what is it forcing the machine forward, sparking reactions and setting the rusty begrudging mechanics to motion? It’s hard to believe it’s just the snippets, the fleeting recollections that are there then gone, like dreams forgotten before the dreamer ever sensed their presence.

I wish you luck, all you wayward travelers. I’d like to say your destination is assured or that it’s the journey that matters. But that’d make me just another borrower, just one more thumb thrown up in the dark, shocked by the awesome blasts of air and the dark arts physics of oblivious passing semi trailers hauling god knows what. Lord knows it doesn’t matter.

Some presume some freedom because no one yet had reason or will to stop them.  But do their legs move so much more effortlessly or do their embellished tales just infer they might? Takes courage too to stand in one place.

Have you ever seen a drunken man pound a teeny nail with a tiny hammer? That’s what we do, hoping we’ll do unusually well and surprise our friends. Maybe a big, fat, swollen thumb stands out better against drab sandy brush or endless dioramas of city.

What a long walk. The trunks are heavy, full with drink. It’s not a special burden, or an unworthy one, but I’m damn tired and my thumb is slack.  Journeying, arriving? What if we stop short?

Why isn’t there a parable for that?


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