So, here I am before you, high up above the street lights, staring at the skyline. I can’t sleep, the city is wide awake on this Saturday night. Why am I not out there? Why don’t I join the night creatures and the feuding battle of mind over matter? Well, that’s because my brain won’t shut off. It’s constantly ticking in the background of my daily life, an annoyance that keeps persisting. I don’t know what it is, why it happens, but it’s there. It always has been, as long as I can remember.
Ever since I was a kid, I had always been on the outside looking in, staring out into the open, trying to take in as much detail as possible, fixated on what’s in front of me. People in my life have always told me that I spend too much time in my head, that I need to “participate” more. “Get out there, Travis, you are missing so much!” Am I, though? There is something happening on a much bigger scale than what most people realize. We are not the main characters of a movie, it’s not all about us, is it? There is this unbearable melancholy deep in my chest, that gives me the feeling of a heavy heart whenever I think about this, it send me into a panic-driven craze that life is happening before me and it’s all moving too fast for me to even take a fleeting look.
I grew up in a small town in Northern BC, and to say the least, there isn’t much up there. It’s quiet, not in the way that the noise is absent, but of the undisturbed kind. It’s calm, quiet, tranquil. It’s secluded. I spent most of my life in that town staring at the vast mountains surrounding me, picturing of what’s happening out there, that monumental adventure is taking place at this very moment. I felt trapped, claustrophobic at the idea that I am in a place where nothing exciting ever happens. I wanted to be out “there”, wherever that may be. This is what lead me to leave the sleepy town of Hazelton. I had to be elsewhere, I knew it deep down inside. There was a life happening that I was meant for. I wasn’t supposed to live a small town life like my friends and family. I didn’t fit in, I didn’t see what they saw. I had adventure on my mind, of an epic tale yet to be told. And look what happened, a life I never would have thought possible for myself began to form, I changed, I evolved and adapted to this “Brave New World”.
You know the reason why I love the city so much? It’s not for the shopping malls, the night-life scene or numerous restaurants. It’s because of the people that live here, that haunt the sprawling concrete jungle. We are all living a life that hasn’t been exploited, that the world isn’t aware of. It’s happening right before our eyes and we don’t see it.
I’m a mess, I’ll admit to you this. I am like the raging ocean, constantly changing from calm to ill. Just like Dallas Green cites in his song Sleeping Sickness. I can’t control it. I’m always elsewhere, never in the present, heading towards the future, searching for the reason of madness. I consume the toxic ways of life way too much, needing the pull of alcohol and cigarettes and drugs to make me go forward. The world is spinning and I’m leaning over the edge ready to spew the bile deep inside. I’m fucked up, no simpler words than this.
But, does this stop me? Does it send me over the edge and give up? Free fall and let the world control me the way it wants to? No. No, I will not let such a trivial thing take me out. I may be a screwed up human being but I cannot let this bend me until I break. I fight, I fight until I’m a bloody heap of flesh and bones. Because, there is something out there I have yet to discover.
I’m sorry I don’t tell you the things I’m going through as often as I should. I made a vow to when I started my journey, my course in life, the reason I set up this website, it was all to tell a tale I always wanted to document. To let you all know the madness within of a wandering soul. But, I disappear a lot. There are times when reality takes over and kicks me right in the teeth and leaves me on the ground laughing with grief. I’m trying to keep it together, to live a relatively normal life so society doesn’t scream and run away from me when I walk through the doors. Sometimes, I just need time to myself. So, this is why I bury my nose in a novel of my choosing, binge watch Netflix and constantly write in my journal to settle the restlessness of my heart. I have to stop and tell myself to relax, to breathe and to settle down for just a second.
I let myself get too attached to people, to my fixation on my bottle of rum, to the cancer sticks I grab and hold on to for dear life. When it all goes away I am left feeling hollow and a walking void. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be a normal, functioning member of society. And it scares the crap out of me when I realize that it doesn’t look good for me. I got an apartment with a good friend, I work at a stable job that needs me more than I need them, and I shuffle along the streets of the city just like everybody else. But, it’s not what I want. I’m looking towards the horizon as the sun disappears behind it, left with the longing of chasing it until it’s by my side. Every time I hear a car honk it’s horn, a yell from across the street, to the screech of a train or the cries from the free birds from up above, my hands start to sweat and my gut aches for the unknown. I’m a hopeless wanderer, not fully realizing how lost I am and that I am without a reason to rebel. Maybe it’s just me living in my 20’s, and that I am finally experiencing the world to it’s fullest extent with much more mystery left to solve. I don’t know.
For now, I will continue to work until my bones ache, wander the grocery store in search of what will satisfy the hunger I constantly feel, and walk in the background of other peoples lives. One day, sometime soon possibly, I’ll pack my bags once again and chase what I can’t see in front of me. But, I need to take a break and enjoy the life that is happening at this very moment. I need to pause and look and stop daydreaming, and “participate” with the regular things other people are content with. It’s late, the moon is rising above, and I need sleep and to put the bottle down and flick the cigarette away and get some sleep.
Maybe I’ll write more soon. Vancouver is a city that is constantly happening and going. I need to enjoy it more and be at peace with having a roof over my head with good people and working at a stable job. The future can wait.