12 January 2013

Short Story number 4

Short Story number 4: Inspired by the song «Paper Cup» by The Swell Season from the album Strict Joy.

The sound of his paced footsteps echoed on the empty street like a heartbeat. In the dark pavement, scattered pools of water reflected the surrounding reality like pieces of broken mirrors. In that fragmented reality he could clearly distinguish the dim lights, shining through the windows, behind which, endless stories of anonymous people like him, were unfolding.
While he roamed the streets, looking for a place to sleep, the moon and the stars were his only company, for everybody had left the stage, in which they were forced to juggle their props and wear their masks, to seek refuge in their conventional hideouts.
 As he walked down the street his body language revealed someone who knew exactly what he wanted, and most of all, someone who knew where he was going. Yet, if one did not look carefully to this frail man with shabby clothes and worn out boots, could easily overlook the strength that burst out from all his pores, which anticipated the unsuspicious treasures he carried inside him.
He reached the far corner of the street, turned left and stopped. For a moment he remained there staring in wonder. He nodded his head and gesticulated like he was engaging in a silent conversation with himself. He approached the focus of his attention. It was an old and majestic oak tree standing in this peripheral part of the neighborhood. Every time he was in town this was the perfect location for him to spend the night.
He sat under the oak tree, unpacked his belongings and initiated the sacred ritual of recoiling in the intimacy of sleep. He prepared his sleeping bag, removed his boots and laid flat on his back beneath the huge tree. He looked up to the strong and long branches of the oak tree and imagined that they were an extension of himself and felt in total harmony with the universe. At that moment, and although he barely had any possessions, he felt fulfilled and complete. To him, this bare feeling was the proof that all he ever believed was real and not a possible side effect of some unnamed mental illness.
He closed his eyes and felt like he did not belong to this world. As long as he could remember he always had this annoying habit of questioning the established rules designed to manipulate our actions and control our thoughts. This insatiable urgency that resided inside him, of escaping the suffocating system that constrained his freedom, condemned him to live as an outcast. But the more they tried to break his spirit and forced him to fit in the pattern, the more he felt compelled to drift in uncharted lands and refuse to follow the one way direction sign.  
 A cool breeze stroke his face. The sound of the leaves swaying in the wind filled the air. He closed his eyes and felt the serene tranquility of those who have found peace of mind. The hardships he had been enduring and the roads he had been travelling allowed him to acknowledge that we all can be happy with much less than we are made to believe. But, unfortunately, we are too busy trying to accomplish the goals imposed upon us to notice that everything we need is inside us.
                                                                             by Raquel R. 

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