To be a part of the club,
10 December 2009 § 3 Comments
Do travelers ever know anything? They know what they’ve experienced, what they’ve learned, they like to share stories, apparently, but now that I’ve been amongst them, I have to wonder if it’s a culture with a cover charge – is it something I really wanted to be part of? For so long, it seemed so cool, to be in places I’d never been or thought I’d be, or likely to ever be again, to look for things there – who knows what – solitude, local beer, pot, sanity – But everyone is looking for that too, maybe.
How long must one travel, how many countries must they visit to be considered a traveler? Who is the considerer? Is there a certain number of languages one must know how to say ‘thank you, where is the toilet?’ in to be a part of this club of uncertainty? Everyone is all for saving money, staying in hostels, sharing rides, hitching, but I’m seeing it be spent everywhere – where is it coming from? How much must one have to travel, because right now I haven’t enough for a month’s rent in any apartment at home, wherever that is, let alone for some ‘emergency’ plane ticket home when I might need it most, which everyone seems to have, ready to mention their open-ended fare at any moment.
Do I have the creativity, the resourcefulness to make do anyway? I don’t know. I have a tent. I have a sleeping bag and hiking boots. Clothes and the will to survive – is that enough? Will my pen and notebook help? No, this isn’t just a journal, you idiot. What is help? What is the goal, and what I am trying to accomplish? What am I trying to prove, and to whom?
I’m tired of depending on others, I’m tired of being homeless, but at the same time I don’t have the patience for one either, only tolerance, and that is a historical recipe for my demise, a self-medicating disaster in which I am the tragic hero and the EMT – but this is not that kind of disaster, this is not the depression kind, or even the ‘your best friend just died’ kind, but something more sinister and cruel, the slowly devastating sort that I wouldn’t recognize until I was forty, lazy, unaccomplished, working at a hardware store and looking most forward to watching football games all day Sunday on TV.
That is a suicidal thought if I’ve ever had one, and I could swear I knew it from somewhere.
So I’m here, forever trying to be part of something, on my own, not needing but secretly really wanting others around, an array of imperfections but never burdening when I want to walk by myself, or walk away entirely. Imperfection that understands. I’m such a cliché.
Maybe those around me are equally unsure, looking for the unknown until one day they are called out for being exactly what they wanted so bad for so long to become, and they feel insulted. Hurt for being what they apparently are, but it never occurred to them that somewhere along the way, their dreams came true without their ever knowing it, and what happens now?