It had been a few days since the rain had begun, and the sky was still gray. It was a day - a time - to wander, he thought. With his mind racing he found it calming to at least have this vague feeling that he should wander the streets. He could go looking for himself and see what he would find, if anything at all. It was decided, he would wander and look for himself - not just in the metaphorical sense - he was actually going to attempt to find his own person amongst the streets. At the time the task seemed plausible.
He had a map but it seemed distant, like he had already lost it. What good was it to know which way he was going when he had no idea where he was? Where to start looking? He knew himself pretty well at this point, and it seemed that - if he was anywhere - he had probably not used the map either. He had probably also wandered. So it made perfect sense to - well - wander, if he was going to successfully find himself.
The grey skies overlooking the Parisian architecture didn’t help. He didn’t know what to call the architecture of the buildings that towered over him on both sides, but it all looked the same, and simply looking around revealed nothing with respects to his exact location. Where was he? The best answer he could come up with was “under Paris’s grey skies, lost somewhere.” The answer was somehow banal to him. A bad answer to a question you really haven’t thought out that much. A knee-jerk answer. This was his existence, he realized. Reactionary, knee-jerk, caused by his actions external to him. It was an attack on his very essence, it felt like. All the thoughts, questions, and doubts did - however - come attached with a label. He wasn’t completely alone without anyone to turn to. There were labels attached to everything in his mind. They all read the same thing: “wander.” It would seem to be a prophetic sort of indication. Some foreshadowing or oracle-esque presence in the world, but that’s really not what it was. It was merely the natural mechanism of the world - in it’s ever perfect wisdom - suggesting what to do. It’s the way good advice givers operate - they don’t impose their will on you. They suggest without a hint of force or coercion - this being the very thing that compels you to realize that “yes, he’s right, I must wander.”
The streets were wet and the air was cold. It was Paris. He was in Paris.
“This narrows it down,” he said to himself.
He was no longer totally lost. The grandness of the universe no longer intimidated him as it had been doing. He was in Paris, not in some random coordinate of the world. No ten dimensions to worry about. He was in Paris. Something told him that it would be as close as he would get, with respects to physical location, as to where he was. Other questions brewed in his mind - something to think about, process, turn over, while he wandered about: Why was he here? Did it have something to do with his search for himself? Was he looking for himself too? It seemed too coincidental to him at first, but he didn’t want to rule anything out. Did he have somewhere to go? And if so, did he get lost on his way there? This possibility unnerved him and excited him all at once. What if he should be somewhere he's not right now? He smiled, “Well then mission accomplished.”
What if he abandoned a master plan that involved getting from A to B, simply for the feeling of complete freedom some people get from selling all their possessions and living in a cave or on a beach for the rest of their lives? The what-ifs came in bunches, and he let them flow.
Paris. The answer lies in the name. He had nothing else to go on but that. Paris. He heard someone walking perpendicular to him, about to converge at a street corner. It was a smallish man with thinning hair and a grotesque complexion.
He asked him, “Are you me?”
“How can I be you if you are not me?”
“Surely sir, I am not you. I’m asking if you are perhaps me.”
“Get out of my way.”
“That can’t be me, too rude,” he said aloud, as the short man waddled away. He continued walking. Left, right, straight, trying to trace an imaginary ‘C’ by walking in its shape. “Sounds like something I would do.”
Then he heard some footsteps behind him, he stopped.
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
“Me?” he shouted.
He continued walking until the steps got closer and closer. Again he stopeed and turned around. There was nothing.
“It’s like someone is trying to frighten me,” he thought.
“Meoooooooowww,” like a race car passing him from behind.
He grinned and turned around slowly, like someone just realizing they've been the butt of an ongoing joke.
“OK that’s definitely me. Meow meow?”
“OK I get it, you can come out now.”
I stepped out and walked up to him.
“Are you me?”
“So what does that make you?”
“I don’t know, us?”
“So where the hell are we?”
“Beats me, I thought you would know.”
“Is that why you were following me?”
“Yeah, I’ve been looking forever for you.”
“Good thing you finally did.”
“Oh I found you a while ago. I was just fucking around, making you wait.”
“So now what?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what do you want to do?”
“Are you hungry?”
They both looked down at the ground in front of them, awkward. In silence, waiting. After a few minutes they wandered off together.
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