After two weeks of backpacking through some of the bigger cities in the Southern Germany, I arrived in my new temporary home groggy but excited, my German a bit more easy to roll off my tongue than before. I stumbled and tripped over my words as I was exchanging pleasantries with my new boss and commenting on how nice the hotel looked where I would be working in for the next two months. After that he drove me and my backpack, which I had once again packed too full in an optimistic bout of self deception of my own strength, to the apartment that would be my temporary home. more “Sunday postcard from… Cochem, Germany”
how are you now? Actually, don’t answer me. I’d rather not know. It isn’t that I don’t care (even though, to myself I must admit that I don’t, really), but to preserve the mystery. When we met each other it was a scene in a life, and it made me think, yes, but it didn’t turn my world around. You were like a reminder of how life on the road is full of chances, adventures and friendships. You were a remainder of those things, even though you weren’t there to give me any of those things.
At that time, I was lost. I had been through a few cities in a shotgun’s time and it was the first time I was out there after the Big Deal. The big trip, that didn’t exactly change my life but made me realise what I wanted from it. I had been bursting out my seams to get on the road again, but once I was there, everything seemed clean and distant, like I wasn’t living my life yet but only preparing for it. I sat in my bed and time turned to hours, until it was too late to do anything but go down to the common room and feebly make small-talk with the Brit and the Aussie I had maybe made acquaintances with. I told myself I should get out and explore – live authentic – live fully, like they say. But I couldn’t. I sat in my bed wondering, if I, in fact, didn’t want to travel after all but just look for opportunities to fall in love, or maybe dream my life away, like standing in a snow globe but never moving on. I wondered, if I had lost my will and skill to travel.
I met you in a park where I had wandered just to get out of the hostel. I had meandered through a few parks and faceless streets, trying to grasp what the city was all about but I felt I wasn’t going anywhere, so I sat down. You sat down with me. We talked about cities we had been to and the one we were in right now, and we talked a little where we were from, but I soon grew frustrated with that subject since you said there were so many crossing bloodlines in your body that you didn’t know where you were from. You said you were an actor. You said you wanted to try a bit of everything because you hadn’t found your purpose yet. You said that you don’t feel like a traveller, more like a passenger. You never explained it, but in that moment I understood you, and I still wonder about it.
We talked about God and how neither of us believed in him or any others, but how there maybe was something and how we admired people who could believe. We talked about the time you fell asleep on a moor under starry skies and woke up to a herd of sheep roaming through your make-shift camp. You said you were muddy and dirty, and I felt the familiar tug on my stomach. It was not the one that warns I am diving headfirst into an impossible infatuation, but the one that urges me to get on the next plane, to the next city, far away. I could see myself on that moor, waking up to the surreal passage of sheep and I knew I wanted that. To feel alive, to feel lost, to be surprised in foreign places.
We never exchanged names. We parted with a friendly hug. You wanted to kiss me, but I wasn’t attracted to you. To me, you were not a start of a beautiful courtship, or even a friendship, for to me you were a reminder of all the things I could be. A stranger in a park reminded me of all the strangers I was yet to meet. You reminded me of why I can not stay in one place, for if I grow roots too deep, I will stand there alone and fearful to leave.
And anyhow, I can’t help it. After all, I am just a passenger in the flow of life.