His eyes squinted hard against the torrential onslaught. Briefcase clutchedtightly in one hand he raised the other in a futile attempt to keep the rain from hiseyes. His feet ached, having trodden straight through the bottom of his shoes sometime ago, the tattered hems of his trousers dragged on the ground, puddling aroundhis cut and bloodied toes. The asphalt was rough, as if it had been laid many yearsbefore and then forgotten, and yet he was strangely comforted. His mouth had beenclenched tight for so long, the power of speech escaped him. His muscles ached sobadly that he had only the strength to repeat the same motion, over and overagain. His very lungs clenched tight against the cold and he drew breath in short,ragged gasps and yet
he was comforted.
This road along which he traveled was ahard one, one he’d walked for as long as he could remember, but it was his road. Heknew every crack, every twisting turn. He needn’t think to walk this path, merelysurvive, and survival meant just to continue the trudge.
I walk, I think…oh Descartes…I know you were…but how can I be?
He’d lost count of his footsteps so long ago that time had becomemeaningless, but after what could only have been a period of many years his feetscraped against dirt for the first time, finding the rain abated a little bit he raised hiseyes to the path ahead of him and was surprised at what met his gaze; a fork. Herubbed the water from his listless eyes, hoping to see something other than thischoice. As if he were being mocked by the cosmos, the rain dropped off around him,allowing him to drop his arms to his sides and face the split in his world head on. Hewasn’t sure how long he stood there, mind blank, aghast at the prospect of havingto take part in the production of his own destiny. He began to pace, once in a whilerifling through the blank papers in his briefcase, hoping for some semblance of direction, some sort of instruction on how to proceed, but there was none to befound. His shoulders sagged in defeat, accepting the inevitability. To stand here anylonger wasn’t an option. He looked down one path, cracked and worn, as his old onehad been. He gathered himself for what was to come, took a deep breath, then setoff down the second path, his face muscles ached as he smiled a long awaitedsmile, brimming with mirth at the cliché he’d just acted out. He breathed a sigh of relief as his feet felt smooth, newly laid street beneath them. The horizon openedup in front of him, the sun peaked out from behind his guilt and he was suddenly