Trodden and beaten, this road I walk. Forever winding. As I go on. Flat and crusted. Mildew and slime. Beaten down, a million times over. By a million feet. A million passerbies as they go about their business. Going wherever they are headed.
I, a lonely man, am walking. Never sure where I am going. I walk down this same road. Beaten and trodden by people. I am lost. There are signs. Many, many signs. Coming from the ground. Pointing. Pointing here. Pointing there. Telling me where I should go. But I donít trust them. Some are new. Some are old. Some are hard to read. But most are illegible. At least for a man speaking my tong.
Some have pictures. Pointing here and there. Iím not sure they know where they are pointing. Yet, I follow. Blindly. I go, and the road curves. I follow blindly. And the road curves. Why does the road curve? It curves and it turns. It swerves. And the signs. They just keep on pointing.
ďAre you sure you are going the right way?Ē one sign asks.
I did not reply. It wouldnít understand me if I did. We speak completely different tongs.
ďAre you sure you are going the right way?Ē it asks again. Forever asking, it asks again. Demanding a reply.
ďStraight ahead. Iím going that way.Ē Thatís what I said.
The sign asks again. ďWhere are you going?Ē
ďThat way. That way is where I am going. Straight.Ē
ďYou know the road doesnít end?Ē the sign would ask again.
ďI understand. I really do understand.Ē
It fell silent. I kept on walking. Forever walking down that road. That path. That beaten, moldy, grungy, unsightly thing I walked upon. A demon. Thatís what it was. Cold. Cold but yet hot. ĎTwas a demon. Born from the depths of hell. It led me. It led me on and on and on. On this path. Going on for miles and miles and miles. Winding on and on. I could see it. There was no end.
And yet I still walked. I walked. And I walked. Should I stop? I would think. As I looked at an arrow. A sign with an arrow on it. PointingÖ straight. Pointing forward. Pointing left. Pointing right. Telling me to follow the road. I looked and I listened. I kept on going. One day I will regret this. I know. But it doesnít bother me. Why should it? Why should what Iím doing now bother me?
By then I was getting hungry. I think I want some food. I would think to myself. No. I know I want some food. But, there was nothing around. The road itself was blank and dry. The area around it, I wouldnít dare to tired upon. It looked like whatever I would walk upon outside of the road, would engulf me. And I would never be able to come back. The outside world is cruel. So I stayed on the road. I kept on walking. Following these signs, these evil signs. Telling me where I should not go. What I should and should not do. I donít like these signs. These abominations of human creation. They knew what I should not do. What I shall not do. What I should not do in the future. What I should not have done before. What I must do now.
I kicked a wooden sign. My cigarette fell from my mouth. Hit the ground. Broke in two. I think it was a sign. A medaphore. Some meaning behind it. I was killing myself. I know, I was killing myself. Doesnít matter what I do. Itís my body, my choice. I should kill myself if I want to. Why am I listening to these signs? I kicked it again. But my frustration never went away. I picked up the half of the cigarette that was still smoke-able. Lit it again. Took a puff. And kept on walking.
I canít stop now. Iíve already started. Come too far. I must find an end. Would there be an end? I donít know. I canít say. Is there an end? If I believe in it, surely there will be. But can I believe in it. So far Iíve just been following these signs. Mindlessly doing what they tell me. Is that right? Should I really be doing this? Am I doing the right thing? Following these things blindly. Perhaps. But perhaps not. Who knows? I donít. Maybe god does. If there is a god. Surely he can tell me. If he would ever speak. What signs does he have to give me? Can he tell me whatís going on? Can he tell me where this road ends? Where it leads? Iím sure he can. Or sheÖ Or itÖ whatever god is. I donít know. How can I know? Iím justÖ dust in the wind.
There was a crossroad. In front of me. Clear as day. A fork in the road. Silver, shiny. Up to as high as I can see. It was large. Big. Four prongs in the ground. Coming up into one gigantic metal monstrosity. And it stood in front of me, high. Mocking me. Laughing at me. Calling me names. I despised it. However it was right.
Now, I have a choice. Something Iíve never had before. I had two signs. One on my left. One on my right. The one on the left pointing down this straight but yet winding road that was on the left of this giant monstrosity that I called a fork in the road. To my right was another sign. Pointing off in the direction of the other. The other thing. The other path. Going off into that other direction. Itís time for a decision. I didnít have one.
ďDo you know where you are going?Ē The fork asked.
I didnít answer it. No need. It wouldnít like my answer anyway.
ďDo you know where you are going?Ē It asked again.
ďThat way. Straight.Ē I said.
ďYou canít go that way.Ē The fork stated.
ďThere is no road. Where there is no road, you cannot go.Ē
I showed the fork my middle finger and decided to take a nap. I lied down right there under the fork and slept. I was tired anyways. When I awoke. I donít even know if you could quite say I was awake. If Iíd ever fallen asleep. Or ever was awake. It all seemed like a dream. So quick. So fast. Jumbling, jumping. Never quite in one place. Always going around. Doing things that I had no clue about. But yet again, I knew what it was. Itís confusing to say the least.
I didnít know what I was up against. What I was going to. What I was running from. I looked behind me. One path straight on. Going forever. I had started somewhere. I donít know where. Perhaps the road kept on going back behind me from where I had started. Iím not sure. It was so long ago I can hardly remember. But in front of me, was that choice. I had slept it off. Hopping that perhaps in this wild crazy dream state I was in while I slept I could have possibly come to a decision. Delusions. I am no closer to making a decision then I was before. It pained me. Indecisiveness. Oh does it suck so much.
I took out my pack of cigarettes. One left. I was hungry. I hadnít eaten in oh so long. And now I was down to my last cigarette. The signs were telling me something. Were telling me to choose. One sign telling me to choose one way. Another sign telling me to choose another way. And that monstrosity of metal in front of me. Telling me that I needed to choose one or the other. I couldnít choose both. I couldnít choose to go straight ahead. It blocked me. I couldnít go around it. I had to go one way or another. No longer able to go straight ahead.
Behind the fork was death. I could see him. Eyeing me. That crazy skeleton that is death. Forever eyeing you. Always behind you. Looking, seeing you. Watching you. Knowing you. Feeling you. Waiting for a chance to creep up and take you beyond. I hated death. I hated him looking at me. Starring at me. Smiling, sneering and laughing. He was behind me too. I couldnít go back. He would have gotten me if I had gone back. He would get me if I went forward. What was I to do? I had no reason to choose either or. I couldnít see what was down one way. I couldnít see what was down the other. They both looked the same except one headed to the left and one to the right. The only difference was one winded narrow and one was wide and straight.
I suppose who this madman was who laid down these things. It must have been two. They were fine and perfect with each other up until this point when they had an argument. One went to the left deciding he wanted to be straight. The other went to the right wanting to be off. They were both crazy in my eyes. Why did they split? Why didnít they keep going straight? Why? What is it about going straight ahead? Perhaps death was still there when they laid the road. Maybe he was right there in front of them. Eyeing them. Laughing, sneering, glaring. Death. Crazy man.
ďStop staring at me!Ē I yelled. Hopping to make him stop. It didnít work. So I gave him my middle finger.
An ant passed by. I saw it. Wondered where it was headed. Where it had come from. Took a drag on my cigarette. Breathed it out. Flicked off some ash on the end. It fell on top of the ant. I didnít see the ant after that. I suppose it died. The burning hot ash had fallen and set it on fire. I paid no mind. Suppose it would hate me. Staring at it. Glaring at it. Then killing it. But could it hate me? Could it even understand what hate is? I suppose not. Is there really any way to know? Of course there isnít. Never will be.
I took another nap. The days seemed to go on and on. But yet they seemed so short. Lack of consciousness I suppose. My indecision. Perhaps this was all a dream. Something that never ended. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Who knows. I donít. Of course. I never know.
When I awoke. There was a loaf of bread sitting next to me. I donít know who brought it. The only thing on my mind when I ate it was the hurting of my stomach. I quelled the pain. Stopping it after I finished eating the bread. It didnít last long though. I didnít save any of it. I ate it all. That may have been a mistake. Perhaps it was more then a chance for me to live. Perhaps I should have rationed it. Ate a little bit now and saved the rest for later. But I didnít care. I didnít think. I didnít notice. I couldnít figure it out. All I cared about was feeding myself. Feeding my hunger. This need. This want. Food. It wasnít a need though. More like a desire. A desire to be fed. I hated that desire. I didnít need it. But yet, I gave in. Felt tired again. I felt tired after I had eaten the bread. The bread I ate whole. Then I feel asleep.
When I woke up. There was a glass of water. Sitting beside me. I was thirsty. I donít remember the last time I had drank such a thing. Probably longer then I had eaten. Maybe less. Yet I was thirsty. So I drank. I drank it all. Not a drop left. And I fell asleep. Again. When I woke up again I knew I had been waiting there for weeks. Time moves so quickly when you wake, eat, sleep, wake, drink, sleep. But who was bringing me this nourishment? I never asked for it. They brought it anyway. Whoever it was, that fed me. I would thank them, when I met them. I stood up. Checked my pocket where I kept my pack of cigarettes. It should have been empty. I looked inside and it was full. I checked my bag that I carried on my back since I donít know when. Looked inside and there was food. Bread and water. Perhaps enough to last me forever. Or at least until the end of my journey.
Perhaps thatís what they were doing. They fed me enough so that I could go on. Why they would do such a thing. I do not know. I looked at the metal monstrosity that I had hated so much when I first came upon it. The fork in the road. I tipped my hat to it. Then I choose the right path. I walked for an hour and then I looked back. Sure I would see the area where I had spent so much time. But it was gone. All I could see was a straight and narrow length. Forever going on. Never ending. Never stopping. Signs pointing me onward. Pointing me in the direction I had chosen. Or at least I thought I had chosen. I do not know. I can not see the other path that I could have taken. And I couldnít go back. Death was there. Watching me. Glaring.
ďQuit watching me! Donít you have anything better to do?Ē I yelled. But he didnít budge. I gave him the middle finger.
So I walked on. The signs guiding me to wherever I was going. I do not know. I had forgotten in the long time I had traveled. But I knew I would get there. Some time. Either I was journeying to some far off place. Or I was just journeying to my death. I donít know. But, I will keep on going. Ahead. Never back. Always straight. Never left or right. Just walking. Never stopping. Always looking onward. Never sleeping. Never eating. Never drinking. Smoking my cigarette. They never do seem to run out.