On this Two Way Street (Short Story)
It is a peculiar place. In a November afternoon reminiscing of an April of years ago – the crispy breeze amongst a sun bestowing light generously but only teasing samples of its warmth. The leaves that left, the soil that wept but the seasons are one and the same. All in this vicinity that had been still was, although ever changing and evolving from its original form. It seemed many roads led to this place. It sounds crazy, but sometimes a scent, a sight, a word were enough of a cue to send me walking habitually and unknowingly along this path. Yet when I shake off heedlessness and regain my senses it always comes back to me – Memory lane was a liar that hid truths of time. It chose selectively where I would tread.
After leaving, I tried again to explore every avenue. Conscious were my efforts to not aimlessly end back on memory lane – the place all roads seemed to lead back to. I saw the sign, the two-way street where I was headed. This was the craziest of journeys. Upon turning my head, I would see ghost-like familiar figures as they seemed to chase after me, and in my nonchalant way I seemed to just be oblivious to their attention. Some of these I hadn’t seen in years and as I would move further along in my travels, their outline too became less visible – their expressions leaving a more annoyed imprint as they started to fade further away. When they would ring, my answers were delayed if at all – their messages not seeming to fully register to me. I hope they didn’t get annoyed, it was never personal – I suppose life just gets so busy?
Yet incoming towards me I see some old acquaintances and I fill with some sort of mini euphoria! Here were those memory lane spoke to me of fondly when I was there. It would remind me of gestures and phrases that probably all else had forgotten although they’d remain with me unaltered, despite the passing of years. Yet bizarrely, whenever I would try to stop these persons I held in high esteem to catch up and see how they were – there seemed to be delays, cancellations and rearrangements. They would say we would try to sync next week, yet at the same place I would stand on this street with a call unanswered, or a message ignored, or a non-response. I never understood this non-reciprocal two way street. I would ponder at each attempt if it was personal, or I was an annoyance to them. Life, surely can never get so busy?
Trying to keep on track in the bustle of this Two Way Street is arduous. I’ve found that most travellers somehow get caught and lost somewhere in the street, and those by my side on the same journey seemed to change within the roads of time. It seemed some of us either gave too much or too little and very few were able to find the middle path. There seemed a select few of us, the ones who – even when occasionally one of us lose our feet or head on this road – manage to regroup and go forth the same way together. Across the thousands of people encountered through lifes course, these were the unique comrades who provided an aura of serenity in the madness of this worldly rush hour. I smile to myself nervously, with an heir of curiosity. In an unpredictable, calamitous expedition as this – I wonder how many of us will make it together on the other side?