Towards/Away

I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately… like, is any of this for real? Or not?

The street is busy and cold. I bury my face on the scarf and join the stream of light, people and noise that flows along the pavement. There are many people here today. Despite the cold, despite winter, the streets are filled with the familiar tide of those who come and go. Just like cells in a bloodstream, each of us fills a portion of the road, walking by, passing by, constant and steady in motion, as if we actually were part of something else, some kind of latent biorhythm that keeps the city alive. Unseen, unnoticed. But always there.

It is oddly reassuring to be part of it. It gives the sole act of walking a feeling of purpose. It makes me feel as if the echoes of my steps were the sound of some organic machinery, whiring and whining in the background.

Eventually, I reach the square and I stop. I somehow expect to be swept along by the steady flow of people, but none of that happens. They just keep walking, adjusting their trajectories in an unconscious way, avoiding any obstacles if necessary. There, in the middle of the plaza, I realise that I am no longer part of them. The moment I have stopped walking I have become just another factor to incorporate into their calculations. I am no longer part of a rhythm, but rather an odd dissonance that does not move along, something people walk towards or away from.

Towards/Away.

At that moment, these two words define everything. In detaching myself from the bloodstream, in becoming a rogue cell, I have also become something else. At that moment, I exist only as a reference, a temporary landmark in the map of the city. At that moment, I realise that I can relate to everything that surrounds me by using these two simple words: towards/away. Those who come towards me. Those who walk away from me. Someone, somewhere, is walking towards me. They do not know me, and I do not know them, but they are getting closer to me with every passing moment. In the same way, people are already leaving me behind. People I will never meet, people I have never seen. People whose names I don’t know and whose voices I will never hear.

Towards/Away.

Then I realise that everything we do, everything we say or see or think leads us away from what we were and towards what we are still not. Just like raindrops crashing against a windscreen, we rush blindly towards a future we do not know how to stop. Every single drop of rain dissolves into its own shower of consequences so impossibly detailed that it would take many eternities just to figure them out. Some times, we are the rain. Crashing against someone else’s windscreen, we become a consequence. Some times, we are the glass. Still and immovable, we bring the consequence. Some times we are everything. And some times we are nothing.

But most of the times, we just walk.

Always towards.

Always away.

 

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