A feeling, a mood, a thought, a spark, a fire; warm but it can burn, yet to it I’m drawn. There’s no escaping. A smoke signal, an irresistible beacon, the call to return because the sun has set and it’s time to go home. I’ve been summoned and I can’t refuse. All I have is my umbilical cord, magnetic, of the same material to begin with, separated only by circumstance and the human condition.
How then, to explain the urge to flee? The suffocation, that the cords that bind me are shackles, that the embrace is a death grip…? That there is trickery at work and it’s a trap? Both lines compete for my trust. Come Home / Run Away. In limbo, neither here nor there, pulled to and fro and making no progress. I thought I knew the truth, but it’s turned its back on me. Betrayal. I am snubbed but I am willing to forgive. Yet all who approach have beady eyes and small necks and they smell suspicious: sweat, and garlic not quite masked by designer cologne.
Whom to trust? Stranger in a strange land, a disowned prince wandering the alleys of his future kingdom. The streets keep changing, maybe by a trick of the light, twisting this way and that. Buildings that might have served as landmarks mysteriously vanish, or end up impossibly farther away. Maybe I’ll spend more time here, regroup and collect my thoughts, lick my wounded pride. But the purpose of this maze is to keep me from reaching the exit, or even the entrance should I ever find it.
Get comfortable then, far from home, enduring cold and filth and tainted waters. It’s confusing here, with no clear sense of direction. With a thousand answers to the same question, none are correct for they have equal weight. In this absolutely relative world, arbitrary decisions reign as king, if they reign at all. Meaning is subjective. The present moment is paramount. Immorality is a virtue. The wise must hide among the ignorant, for steady is the boat that sails nowhere. They carry Truth like a shameful secret, weaving between plastic smiles and Facebook likes, ducking the long arm of the thought police, sidestepping vagrants like myself, unsure of my motives, intent only on keeping their contraband intact.
These are dangerous times where the enemy sits in plain sight on a park bench, unafraid because he’s nearly won. Then again, I don’t know who’s who, so I keep walking. In circles, or more accurately, in squares as the grid of streets tightens around me like a noose.
It wasn’t always this difficult to breathe. I didn’t always feel like this. So cold. So numb. So scripted, color-by-number personality. I long to wake up from this unwanted sleep. To discover that, as a character in a children’s book, these wings are not dumb hands but appendages of flight. To soar into the realm of my true potential and leave this chapter behind, to crush those brittle pages into dust as though they never were.
How free and light I’ll be, unfettered and unrestricted, unburdened by the weight of ambiguity and deceit. No cages will hold me, no labyrinth ensnare me. I won’t need any maps for I’ll know the way. Straight as an arrow, a direct flight, I’ll recognize the call home on the wind this time, clear and sweet, and I’ll listen. A cosmic hug, a warm embrace. A fire that burns, a feeling, a spark.