Friday, December 30, 2011


"Is there anything you want to say to 2011 while you still have the chance?"

The question fell out of the radio speakers and landed on Our Hero's lap one Boxing Day afternoon; The Host, driving the car and utterly oblivious to what had happened in the passenger seat, continued flipping through the stations.

Our Hero stared at the question as it wrapped its tendrils around his stomach, settled into a comfortable position, and looked up into the traveler's eyes as if to say,

This might take a while.


"If you could, what would you change about yourself?"

"You mean, right now?  Like, if I had a switch for it?"

The Host took a drag on his cigarette, blew it into a stream away from Our Hero, and nodded.

Our Hero paused for a moment to recollect the quote he had seen a few weeks ago, and recited, 

"There once was a man who became unstuck in the world.
He took the wind for a map,
He took the sky for a clock,
And he set off with no destination.
He was never lost."

"Where did you hear that?"

"Someone wrote it on a pillar in the hostel kitchen back in Byron Bay," Our Hero said, squinting off and staring into the garden, "I really liked it.  Still do."

The Host took another drag, waiting for Our Hero to continue.

"Philip, I want to become unstuck.  In light of everything we talked about, I just want to stop caring."

"Stop caring?"

"About what people think.  You were right when you said that I hold myself back.  A lot.  It sucks."

"And you know its keeping you from growing, from changing."

"... Yeah.  I know."

"Joshua, it's time to let go."


"So we're pretty set on heading to the beach on New Years Eve?  Probably 7 or so in the evening?" Jesse asked.  

Matt nodded in agreement, and Our Hero agreed by rubbing in more sunblock.

"And what about afterwards?"

"I don't know," Matt said, "I think we were pretty keen on getting back into town and probably going to a pub.  Josh has been to Mars a few times, how about we go there?"

"Look at you, Josh.  You have a haunt here already."

It was true, Our Hero had been to that bar on several occasions since he had arrived in Adelaide.  He couldn't help it; the bar was the first to which he was introduced in Australia, and the one in which he had met a considerably diverse collection of characters [including an ex-circus performer in a wheelchair, a part-time go go dancer and first year dance student, a woman who had moved to Adelaide because the job market in Chicago was terrible, and a drag queen named Malt Biscuit].  Our Hero wouldn't turn down the chance of going back to Mars, although Jesse's choice of words had slapped him across the face at the last second.

You have a haunt.

As expressed before, Our Hero had despised the idea of developing habits, running in circles, becoming predictable.  The idea of anchoring himself to one place during a year like this was more than undesirable and embarrassing, it was 


Maybe this would be the first year he would follow his resolution, whatever he decided it would be.  

He didn't want this feeling to stop, whatever this feeling was.  Feeling like he was in the right place at the right time, doing the things and meeting the people he needed to, hearing, seeing, and learning things that would help sculpt him into the Prince he was destined to become.  worldlyfearlessconfidentsereneexperiencedknowledgedserene.  Feeling that fire inside rage every day, every time he practiced, every time he saw a performance, every time he felt the hard wooden floor beneath his feet vibrate from too much bass.

He wondered what it would be like when this would all stop.
That is, if it would.

He, Our Hero, The Boy, The One who would lose then find his way in India, who was adopted and beloved in Uganda, who smelled of sunblock and tasted of sea salt in Australia hoped this would never end.  The destiny he had chosen had taken him this far, and for the first time in his life, he would dare to see how much farther this rabbit hole would go.


When 2011 would leave, he wasn't exactly sure what he would say.  Goodbye?  Thanks for the ride?  Call me?  2011 would always be a landmark; he had always known it would be the year he left college, entered the real world.  But what came after that?  What happened after the end?  He never would have guessed he would be traveling, dancing, living.

This past year was all about knowing what would happen next, having a plan, and watching as it all fell into place.  2012 should be different.  And it would.  Everything was already changing; why should he let it stop now?  If there was any time to let it all go...

... it would be now.


1 comment:

  1. This was an amazing post, Josh. It's really apparent how much you've grown since this summer - I'm so happy for you.
    Enjoy your adventure.