paulfraser (paulfraser) wrote,

On a road to nowhere

As I winced in pain and clutched the edge of the table, I gazed across the myriad flags adorning Bindy's Caribbean Delights at The Forks market. It seems in this place, hot sauce means just that. At that moment, as I casually listened in to the conversation of the native Canadians on the next table, my impulse was to do as most young Australians you meet on the road do, and just become a professional drifter. Other terms may be nomad, vagabond, flotsam or maybe most accurately bum. But any way you label it, sitting in a foreign place, observing how other people live; it's a nice way to spend a day. All days should be like that.

It's been mentioned to me several times in the last few weeks that when you meet someone from the bit of dirt I was born on elsewhere in the world and you ask them how long they've been on the road, the slow, lingered upon answer is usually "Aw, couple a' years". I've known people who have flirted with it; Elaine, Kate, James; and I've meet enough unwashed, bohemian beatnik backpackers in serendipitous places. There's a romance to it, being a loner, seeing things at your own pace, being self reliant.

My glanced floated to the pretty girl behind the counter, who resembled someone half a world away, and I knew there were still many things tying me to home, and reasons not to take this alluring course. Career suicide comes readily to mind. The conflicting desire to settle down another. I believe I have, however, wisely chosen a career that will afford me the best of both worlds and appease this dichotomy. I think I can be contented with that. Maybe if I'm not satisfied in my old age I can grow a long grey beard, knock out a few teeth, cut the fingers off my gloves, hop a freight train and try my hand at being a hobo.

It's almost time to pack my goods and chattels for New York City.
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