i've always talked excessively about escaping -
be it Sundays or Thursdays after class, in my head, i'm stocking up on supplies and putting on my sneakers and hitching rides.
today, i happened to wander into a place i'd stayed for so many years it'd suffocated me - the same brimming traffic, the smoke i inhaled on a daily basis, in a city where 'i need some fresh air' is probably a joke, auto rickshaws skipping red lights, streets packed with so many food joints and so many hungry kids in front who are begging for money you never know what they'll buy with it and people and loads of people trapped in a maze of their existences.
i'd loved and hated this place with so much of my heart when i'd a chance to escape, i took it.
i'd a friend, i think we're probably still friends, who would always tell me that i'd have to return home some time. that i may roam far and wide and find corners and stairs to sleep on, bonfires to spend some nights, friends and strangers who would lend me money to buy bread, but i'll have to return. i'll find my way back to places that i'm supposed to be at.
walking down the streets of a place i'd once known like the back of my hand, that i still do, i almost felt like returning to a town i'd left long ago where people do not recognise me anymore. this is exactly what i'd wanted - a place where nobody belongs to nobody, nobody knows your name, and you do not have to pretend. a few street signs have changed. a coffee shop that i'd never bothered to stop by has been shut down and i do not know why it affects me more that i'd have liked it to. this feels like a familiar strangeness that has seeped into my skin and travelled down to my stomach where it clings and aches.
i keep looking out of the window to find one face that i'd recognise; or probably somebody who'd recognise me. you can run away all you want, build bridges, paint towns, mark maps, lie about your name, but with all the peace it brings to you, you're still looking out for familiar faces in the crowd.
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