I had one of those moments yesterday, when I stepped out into a Barcelona street and started walking, and pressed play on the personal CD player I got from #249 during our weekend together on New Zealand’s South Island at the end of July. It was early evening and the city was hot and sunny as ever, and I was scanning my surroundings, taking note of my latest neighbourhood, bookmarking bakeries and fruit shops for future reference, reading posters in Catalan, and waiting at the lights for cars and lorries and motorbikes to pass. This song started playing on the mix I put together last week before leaving Leipzig. It was a song by the Canadian musician, and even though all I was doing was walking down the street, I suddenly felt kind of electric or something. Like filled with nostalgia and potential. I thought about #218, who’d introduced me to the song, and about how she struggles with depression sometimes, and yesterday in particular she was maybe in a cloud of gloom, but I was thinking how cool it is that we have this music in common and also a gazillion other things too, how we understand each other and share private jokes and look out for one another. How, although we are almost always in different countries, I’m looking out for her and she’s looking out for me and we’re in touch almost every day. And that’s special. Connections like these are special. I can feel invincible as long as I know that people like #218 are out there somewhere.
And I thought about the Canadian musician: another small part of my history, whose name crops up every so often; we haven’t been in touch for a few years but we could be. I remembered #129 and how we’d crush out on each other like crazy, tell each other “you kill me”, basically act like manic teenagers and revel in it. I thought of people I’d taken for granted and people who wasted my time and people who hurt me so goddamn much I couldn’t imagine not feeling the pain, the pain that eventually faded. It always fades.
I was kind of checking people out as I walked through the city, not with any real agenda but just for the hell of it. I mean, if the past year-plus is anything to go by then I’m never going to get action in Europe again anyway, but that’s okay because my life these days consists of pinballing around the planet on one-way tickets, and, you know, sometimes, just once in a while and without any longevity, stuff happens. And anyway I’ve resolved to be a little less opportunistic, a little more discerning. That’s not to say I have any regrets about all the people I kissed before, or indeed that I need to be looking at some kind of committed true-love scenario with anyone who’s yet to show up, but, times have changed, I guess, and quite considerably.
I thought I was good at being alone, but this past year has unlocked a whole new level of it.
So yes, I still have stories to tell here. But, at this time, I don’t feel like telling them. Maybe telling them would be like going home, and I don’t know when or if I will feel like committing to either.
I tell other stories instead. Some of them are over here.
And I keep moving, no end in sight, and even the bad days lead, eventually, to something good.