Hurrying along with the sun in my eyes, I felt the way a dirty human should. I was a scampering bag of bones, part hungry, part horny—afraid of the light, yet in desperate need of its affection. To make matters worse, I was a writer. That meant I could never let anything go. At least the rest of them had that going for them. The curse of being a writer meant that I was destined to live both in the past and the present, with the past always more prevalent—more enticing—because the past had more of the answers I sought. Everyone else seemed to be lost in the pleasures of the here and now, but not I. I was in love with the idea that all moments existed together on the same page; that what had once been could be again, but the only way to see this through was to untether oneself from the safety of the present day. To exist neither here nor there, but everywhere. I was a nowhere man. This is what Meeko had once called me in a fight after I had informed her of my intention to spend my week off from work writing. She had wanted me to go with her to visit friends on the coast, whereas I wished only to stay indoors working on my manuscript. It had not sat well with her, even though she still ended up going, albeit by herself.
“You silly little man” she scolded me.
“I’m silly because I wish to live my dream?”
“If your dream is to stay indoors for weeks on end like a hermit, then yes.”
“At least I wish to live a dream, and not live a lie.”
She had narrowed her eyes after this comment and gone quiet. Not a good quiet, a bad quiet. The kind that informed me she was figuring out how to punish me for slighting her. All I had ever wanted was to write, but even to those closest to me, it was never good enough.
Such arguments were common. Meeko’s dream was to be free, much the same as mine; the only difference was that I intended to document my path to enlightenment, whereas she seemed to not know one way or the other the significance of her journey. It was all about the destination for her. For me, the footsteps leading to that place were more important. I wanted to leave a trace of myself behind before I was gone.
“Why do you have to be so strange?” she had once snapped at me. “Why can’t you be like other people?”
“Do you want to be like other people?” I had asked. Looking at me then at her feet, she had shrugged her shoulders before nonchalantly collapsing onto the bed.
“Sometimes,” she said, “sometimes.”