Walking, trudging, simply feet moving. Long days were rare to the short day he had had, sleeping most the day away until there was nothing more than darkness and himself. He wasn’t a night owl, nor a day bird looking for a worm. He didn’t fall with a name or a label that he chose to call his own, he just was in existence and nothing more.
The train station was quiet, just the rain pouring down on him as he waited for something to come by and pick him up. He would look around to see all the people rushing about like there was an emergency to be tended to. Maybe they saw their loved one, another going off to war, yet another getting ready to visit a new town where no one knew their name and no one cared to.
He wondered if the last one wanted to get lost in a world unlike his own. It was like flying far away to a place unknown… To become anew as if the shell now never existed. He could wander streets and watch children play. He could touch the vegetables at the market and never have been caught stealing before. His face would be something few would remember, not an imprint on a single soul…Just a vague description with a hat on top.
Then what of the second one? Had it been the draft that pulled him away? Was he running from someone? What if he would become the most famous of the famous? He could be a hero, or he could be no one. He could be the one sitting to waste away in the foxhole as his comrades ceased to fire their weapons or die of some seemingly incurable disease to be nothing but decomposition in the ground. Did he have family that would miss him? Or was he an orphan that felt like his singular purpose was to please someone? Please himself, please no one…he would be gone, and maybe a face forgotten, too, with time.
Then of the first. It had been a loved one. They kissed their face as sweet sorrow ran down. It looked like it had been awhile – two months and fifteen days, to be exact. Visiting a family for a wedding. Now why had the lover not gone too? There was a moment where the runner’s face fell as the other explained. Hidden was the runner. Not a soul could know. It wasn’t the hug that was so encouraging. It wasn’t the kiss upon the lips so plump as a peach. It wasn’t the smile, nor the touch of the hair. It was the admission that life would be okay, that they had each other, and that was enough.
And as the faces went by one by one, they all had a story that only a few heard. Just as the soles of their shoes had felt many things but simply wore on…Life was that way as Time waited for nothing and no one. Time never knew when he stopped for someone, though, so he reaped minutes while leaving some to live. Those lived minutes were quiet minutes that few felt touched their hearts. Some didn’t take the precious and run away with him until he disappeared in their hands and they had only begun to run.
The eras phased in and out before the man’s very sockets as he saw himself being spent fruitfully and futilely by the masses who would find their place in the ocean or in mother earth. The man had gone to war, the lover was kept away, and the other found himself lost in the crowd. But they all had something in common, see. They found their lives not wasted in the material that drowned the populace, spent deliberately with reasons that only they so cherished. They became someone in their own respect, someone they wanted to be and go places they wanted to go. Self-actualized and self-governed. Nothing told them of what was okay – they were simply deaf to it all, following their whims and all that they loved. It was a path paved of their own, one that they could love.
The train never came and the man never left. He held onto his suitcase and onto his hat. He did exist but without a name and without a label. No one could catch him, he simply was intangible.