On Wanderlust

Sir Alistair Rai

“I want to do something.”

She looks up from her magazine with surprise. “Okay, so do something.”

“No, I mean really do something,” I say back, stretching my hands forward to grab my toes. “Not just, like, I want to go get some pizza.”

“We could, if you want. Go get pizza.”

I sigh and release my stretch. “I don’t want pizza. I want an adventure.”

She rolls her eyes and casually flips to the next page of the magazine. She takes a moment before she sighs and laughs a little. “What are you, Inspiration Barbie?”

“Never mind,” I tell her, bending into a forward fold.

“No, really,” she says in a softer tone. “What do you mean?”

I straighten and look her in the eye. She is concerned, and wondering, and she has every right to be. But in her eyes there is sturdiness and a sense of peace. She knows where she belongs. She has people and places and things that make her whole and complete. I see her and I think, she will never understand what it’s like to be missing so many pieces.

I like to imagine that when we are born, we scatter fragments of ourselves all over the world. Sometimes they fall into some specific place, like a beautiful lake shrouded by mountains, and sometimes they fall into people. And then when you go to those places, or you meet those people, you can recognize those tiny little pieces and allow them to fill the empty spaces of your soul.

If you are lucky, maybe you can find them pretty quickly, at least enough of them to feel satisfied. But sometimes it feels like you’re losing more than you’re finding. Sometimes more of you gets lost along the way.

And when there’s too much hollow space, you get hungry. You get cravings nothing in the world can satisfy. You become a creature of lustful desire, hunting down new people and new places and new things until you’re too exhausted to carry on. You settle in and try again to live a normal life, but you can’t. There’s too much of you left desolate and alone.

I can’t be here, practicing yoga poses on my living room floor. I can’t be here, listening to lectures and following dress codes and completing assignments. I can’t be here, eating the same quinoa pilaf every single day.

I have to do something. To fight the emptiness. I have to try.

But she is so sure. I will not break her with my brokenness.

“I could go for some pizza after all,” is all I say.

She puts down her magazine and picks up her car keys. “Well then let’s go,” she says with a smile, scooting her feet into her boat shoes and turning to me expectantly.

“Let’s,” I reply as I stand to meet her. Pizza doesn’t sound so bad. I am, after all, insatiably hungry.

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4 comments

  1. “I like to imagine that when we are born, we scatter fragments of ourselves all over the world. Sometimes they fall into some specific place, like a beautiful lake shrouded by mountains, and sometimes they fall into people. And then when you go to those places, or you meet those people, you can recognize those tiny little pieces and allow them to fill the empty spaces of your soul.”

    ….this is going into my quotebook. I’ve been looking for those words for so long.

  2. “I like to imagine that when we are born, we scatter fragments of ourselves all over the world. Sometimes they fall into some specific place, like a beautiful lake shrouded by mountains, and sometimes they fall into people. And then when you go to those places, or you meet those people, you can recognize those tiny little pieces and allow them to fill the empty spaces of your soul.”

    oh. my. god. as someone considering a 1000 mile move to a place I’m sure I must’ve lived in a past life – you speak directly to my soul.

  3. “And when there’s too much hollow space, you get hungry. You get cravings nothing in the world can satisfy. You become a creature of lustful desire, hunting down new people and new places and new things until you’re too exhausted to carry on. You settle in and try again to live a normal life, but you can’t. There’s too much of you left desolate and alone.”

    Those words right there… are so me. This is how I constantly feel.

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