I couldn’t stay in that desolate place they called “Society”. Where everyone is smiling only because the whole place is topsy turvy so you can’t tell the difference. They say “the grass is greener on the other side” but I don’t want the other side to the same coin. I want a whole new currency. So, I left everything behind to move forward, toward my present. Rumored to be a LIFE year’s distance at the end of Median Road.
“Median Road II: Fork in the Road”
I arrived at a fork in the road. I was curious. Who’s fork is that? How did it get there? How long has it been sitting there? I pondered about the fork continuously for hours, until finally I sauntered up to the fork and aggressively kicked it to the side of road. It didn’t matter how much I knew about the fork. All that mattered is that I continue to follow the road and see where it takes me.
“Median Road III: YNWA”
They yelled “YNWA!” as they grabbed my hand, leading me further down the road. Out of breath, I asked “What the hell does that mean?”
They stopped walking, holding my hand more tightly. “It means ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone” they sang.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone…” I affirmed to myself, time after time as we explored, learned and grew on our journey together. Then one morning after reaching the Gate at the end of the road, I realized, it’s true I didn’t walk alone but we didn’t arrive together.
“Median Road IV: Gatekeeper”
“This is it.” I whispered to myself. I slowly approached the gate at the end of Median Road, but as come within several yard of the gate something peculiar happened. Shadows began to coalesce in between myself and the gate, taking a humanoid form. As soon as the shadows finished conjoining, two red eyes, like rubies, opened up on the shadows head. No time to hesitate now. “I’ve been waiting for you.” the shadow stated in a deep, guttural voice. I paused for a moment, staring the shadow deep in it’s eyes. “That’s funny…” I began while reaching for my hip. “…so have I.” In a matter of moments, three bullets burst forth from my pistol, ripping through the gatekeepers chest. The gatekeeper looked at his chest then back at me, slowly dissipating, it said.
“I was only trying to tell you-“
“Too Late!” I interrupted. “It’s over now.” The shadow’s ruby eyes slowly lost their glimmer and a voice whispering “And So it is…” echoed away as the last wisps of the gatekeeper disappeared leaving only a keep behind.
“Finally,” I told myself.
“The End of Median Road.”
“Median Road V: Prodigal Self”
Moment of Truth. I picked up the key from the ground and walk up to a blanched, stone gate with relatively large keyhole. I wondered if you could take a peek inside. I leaned forward placing my eye near the whole and inside I saw a brick path. On this brick path was an old man with a wooden cane, surrounded on both sides with lush, green grass. He was waving at me, smiling. There’s was something oddly familiar about his aura. I became excited, even more curious on what was on the other side of the gate, but as the key touched the hole, the old man calmly, but firmly said, “Trust Me, Go Back.”
I hesitated. Within a matter seconds, the memories of the journey came flooding back: The discontent back in Society, the struggled with the fork in the road, the disappoint of “never walking alone” and the murder of the gatekeeper. I can’t believe I went through all of those trials, only to be told to return. So, with no hesitation, I inserted the key, turned it in the lock. The gate made a whirring sound as it unlocked and opened. As I stepped onto the brick road, the old man’s smiled devolved into a grimace. “Suck it old man.” I thought to myself. After stepping in as the gate closed behind me, the Old Man spike.
“You fucked up.” The old man claimed solemnly. “Or more appropriately, I fucked up…again.” A wave of confusion overcame me.
“What do you mean by that…are you implying…”
“Yes. I’m you. You are me. I am your ‘higher self’ for lack of a better term. “You’re a projection I created in an attempt to right my wrong. I guess it’s inevitable it ended like this. You know what they say about curiosity…”
I scratched my head in confusion. “What are you talking about. I still don’t get it.”
“That road, that path you walked. It’s the path I paved. The path we paved. We initially paved it together to connect with society; to be one with others instead of wasting away alone…but…other people are messy, arrogant, inconsiderate so I began to think about home. I began to miss the beauty of infinity. Despite this, a piece of me wanted to stay and I couldn’t break my own heart. So I left you behind so that I could return home, leaving distractions in hopes that you wouldn’t follow me. I left the fork in the road to confound you. I created ‘YNWA’ to remind you that you never truly walk alone in life so that you might return to society. I even created the shadow and gate to act as final deterrent to scare and intimidate you. All to no avail.”
I stared off blankly. This was so hard to believe, but here I was; returning home as the prodigal self. Despite this, it didn’t feel like a homecoming. I felt a strange tightness in my chest. I clutched my chest in pain, then it dawned on me. I may have prepared for everything on my journey but I left the most important thing behind. I left behind home. I left behind my heart.
Story borrowed from James Revel III. Check out more of his artistic creations here.