By David Olsen
That had been four years ago. It was Christmastime again and, whilst the people of the world celebrated goodness and cheer, Julian found himself somber and melancholy at the result of his life’s efforts.
He’d said goodbye to Eileen. He’d said goodbye to a decent, albeit boring, job. He’d said goodbye to a family that never really cared about him anyway. Now he stood in an apartment a lot like his last one, looking out at weather that he thought he had left behind, preparing to go out to meet a new girlfriend who probably loved him even less than Eileen had at the end.
All of his problems had followed him to where he stood today. Or had they? Maybe Julian had simply travelled full circle from within one air of malaise to a new one; wholly different causes with exactly the same end result. It didn’t really matter. He was here now, dealing with his brand new but all-too-familiar anxieties.
What if he moved on again? Would that be a solution or would the same gnawing anguish track him down? He imagined a wolf with the smell of blood in its nostrils, tracking the emotionally wounded form of Julian across land, sea, distance and time. There was no escape from the troubles that were carried within you. Julian thought of this and smiled, in spite of the turmoil in his mind. He couldn’t be alone in this realisation. That alone gave him some comfort. Although he had his own issues that tore him apart, others suffered similar indignities. Julian was not alone in his loneliness. For that, he was grateful.
Still, the thought of moving to a new life once more was a tempting one. Wherever he went, however, life would follow him. The same old concerns would be there upon arrival. The same anguish and doubts would remain, deep inside, like an odd sock at the bottom of a suitcase you thought you’d unpacked.
Julian wouldn’t run again, not this time. In a world of uncertainties, that was the only thing he could be sure of. It was time to deal with the pain he carried daily, not by running away, but by charging headlong into it. Mastery of the feelings that crippled him would only come from addressing where his problems truly stemmed from. He was his own problem, not the world at large. Wherever he went, the sense of dissatisfaction followed. Where was it coming from if he was not bringing it himself? Could he ever truly be without them if they actually were a part of his soul?
Julian left his apartment building and walked out into the downpour. His umbrella left behind, the water soaked through his coat and plastered his hair to his head. Today was a day to make a change, or two, or several. He was tired of unhappiness, tired of listlessness.
Today was the day that he would rewrite his own story and chapter one would begin with a walk in the rain.