You are out of touch with the place you’re at. A place with endless fields and long mountaintops in the horizon, with a minority of blonde blue eyed people, and another of short dark haired ones, with a quality of cold air you’ve never felt before, and strangely, with scents that are not aromatic hydrocarbons and monoxide. It is just you and a wet bus window glass touring you to all that you’ll never understand how they function and how they survive without knowing how you function.
You stop in the middle of nowhere, under a dull sky and within mild dew. It is just you, the beautiful desert that gives life to things that are not you, and a bench. And you think it is strange that people are getting on the bus there, that it is normal for someone to stop in a desert made of grass and shrubs without any sign of rock, cement, or roof as far as the eye can see, and to find people waiting there. Where did they come from?
You cross through villages you never knew existed. You see tractors lined up, small grocery stores with foreign names written in your language, squares without children, alleys called “Plato street,” and you wonder what Plato even means for those who live there. Minarets and steeples, headscarves and cheap mini skirts, mustached muslims and cane-carrying christians – and you behind the glass looking, absorbing, observing like a city slicker the scary quantity of unusual that is making you feel like a villager who just arrived to the real world.
Double yellow lines on the road – built over the old Roman road that legions crossed once upon a time. And the Roman legionnaires were perhaps staring at the endless pastures and the infinite straight road like the Carthaginians starred at the Colosseum, only difference being that the awe of the latter was finite.
You have forgotten of your flight and your home, you have forgotten what you’ve left behind and what lies ahead, you are just starring, looking and trying to learn. You see the ugly corner coffee shops and the signs on the low houses: “Butcher Shop: Honesty” and under the same roof, semidetached, a barber shop. You think that you like these places, you recall that you want to go to Danzig because it is an endless ugly shipyard, you remember that your strongest memory from Scandinavia was that bar in Copenhagen, where they didn’t know how to make black russians and no one spoke english but only bosnian and russian, and that it was full of truck drivers and prostitutes. You are trying to imagine yourself sitting in the ugly corner coffee shops, stopping your car at each one of them, at every tiny foodtruck next to the forrests and the long Roman road, at every ugly and forsaken place.
And you’re a bit scared by how well you make do, at how easy it is to imagine that you live there, that you grow miserable there, that you are ending as unimportantly as now there, but without the easy pretense for the opposite the urban luxuries offer. You imagine beds made out of straw, muddy boots, you embed your mind into Gogol and Dostoevsky and forget all you have learned, you trade it shortly to feel like yet another dead soul with a fixed destiny that includes two acres of land and a Katerina Ivanova who speaks broken turkish and whose parents hail from streets that have no names.
The realization that between you and your imaginary misery stands only a glass window makes you a bit uneasy. No steel wall, no absolute rationale, just a fish tank glass that allows you to stare at the misery of another life in the eye while it offers you its grande smile, blinding you with the magnitude of a loss reminding you that which you have not lived, reminding you how you show and are shown pity with inhumane naturalism. You put your hand on the glass, you clear out the vapor of your breath to not miss the moment, the breath of the still life that is being painted outside. And you get this crazy yearning to get out of the bus, to live this entire death that is life outside of your climate controlled home, to get out and sit next to a deserted altar and to burn money and identification cards, to despair, to despair and feel alone, prey for the infinite landscape. You wish you could climb a small hill to get a better view of the overland sea around you, to see the clouds over the mountains and the large mud lakes within the thickets, to see the desert and to feel how human you may be with no warm air in your lungs, with tears from the wind and with nothing, nothing at all to believe in, to risk, and to finagle. You want to feel the endless sadness of being nothing in nowhere, to walk to the ugly corner coffee shop and see someone who stopped his car there so that he can say he sat at a deserted coffee shop once, and to laugh, to laugh hard with that funny guy and his climate controlled car, with the hundred dollar bills in his pockets thinking that he’s understood the slightest from the shiny violence of solitude.
You clean up the glass, you want to get out, there are no flights in the world you got lost into, there are no warm embraces to return to because you started from nowhere. You just want to get out, you want to cross to the other side of the glass, you want to get out of the fish tank into the ocean and to scare the goldfish looking at you thinking “thank god that I am soon catching a flight, thank god I am not that person, thank god that a bench in this soul eating desert is not my only home.” You want to get out seconds before you realize that now you know where the people who got on the bus came from. You want to get out because now you know the importance of Plato here. You want to get out so that you don’t have to see names on the streets, you want to get out to see the legions passing by, marching towards their dreamports in turtle formations a hundred miles an hour on the left lane of the large Roman road – and to wonder, where all these people are going.