You are somewhere far away. Far from your well-known neighborhoods and the familiar noises – or silence. Across from you there is the same ancient land and above you the same ancient sky; the only thing that changes is the petty people. And seeing as they are easy to shape, you enjoy sliding solely on the superficial differences of your culture to theirs, you appreciate observing their shape but you are always afraid of the common disappointment their claylike texture hides.
You are far away and that’s what matters. You don’t hear your language on the street, no one understands your humming down the narrow alleys in the evening and they cannot see what you are reading. When you say where you come from and when you hear where they come from, you feel the weight of a distant root and the lightness of the horizons where they brought theirs from. You are a guest and that feels nice, because it is directly linked with new knowledge and the old need to change your skin.
You wish to have been forgotten, you want to be at the end of the world with no thread to guide you out of the labyrinth of your compass. It might be that sometimes you carry something eternally yours, something perhaps that fits barely in your pocket like a lighter, maybe something that fits only in your mind, like a memory. It might be that you want to know that you can at all times get drunk and rumble to some barman – who, being scales higher than the average barman, will understand and speak English – for the ones you left behind, or left you behind, or set an untold date with when this cycle of your lives closes. All in all, whether the location is that of a lake in north Italy or some dumpster by a train station in central Europe, the romanticism will be equally present – with the appropriate form naturally.
And you realize that you may not be forgotten if you don’t forget. You realize that you must choose between the road and the dream of return. Because if you leave with your mind on returning, rest assured that you have never left. If you live by the lakeside or at the motel by the rails to be able to come back from there, to be able to hug that one person and shout “I am back,” stay home. You left to leave, you left because you couldn’t stay, and you left because it was your only way. Coloring your return in your mind is the same with regretting the fact that you didn’t tear those plane tickets apart back in Athens.
You have already left though, and it is about time you accepted both the responsibility of people missing you as well as the heavier one of missing people.
You have already left. It’s time you started acting appropriately.
P.S. Shame theory is always easier than practice.