The Stranger's journey has now come full circle.
Join me in the bright sunshine at When Words Go Free...

There are still stories to be told.
Read them at The Stranger Looks Back.


There is a strange town, just over yonder. The boy looked back at it, wondering if this time he was really leaving. He thought back to all the times he said he was, and he knew he wasn't. It was so much a part of him now that even if he did leave, it would always be with him. But he also knew that his lodging there had come to an end - his time there would now be as a visitor, not a sojourner.

He had arrived there broken and tattered two lifetimes ago, seeking shelter and escape from the storm that had been his sorry existence. He thought of all the wonderful people he had encountered there, all the glorious adventures they had shared, all the stories not yet written. And he thought of the girl whose eyes had kept him there in the first place, when he had meant to be on his way to somewhere else. Eyes he had never even seen, but that had called to him just as powerfully as if he had; this was something he never quite understood.

Although the girl had been out of his reach even before he arrived, she had shown him that there were still things worth reaching for. In that, she had saved his life without knowing it, or perhaps she did; either way, he could never put into words what she had done for him, nor properly express the gratitude he would always feel. He gave up trying to explain it to others long ago; his friends just figured he wasn't the type to hold a grudge.

And then there was the lad, who he had first thought of as an arrogant little twerp. Or maybe that was him, he didn't remember anymore. Despite what he had said, what he really didn't like about the lad was his ability to tell him about himself - to see through the mask that had hidden him from the others. It was only when he saw what the lad had seen that he grew to appreciate the favour.

He thought of some of the folks who had made his stay enjoyable. The clown whose dry wit had caused him extra laundry more than once, the awesome chick who reminded him of his own sister, the manly dude who he still intended to meet at the burger place, the faithful skipper who had stood by his side through the fiercest storms, the one there from the start whose dedication to his children had inspired him to be a better father to his own, the young romantic who he hoped had come to see the love in the eyes of her Romeo, the girl and her dog with whom he shared many a breakfast, the math nerd whose images captivated him and who was surely one of the two smartest people there, the science nerd who was nothing like the science nerds he knew at that age and who was surely the other one of the two, the widow whose poetry had so moved him for a moment until the phone rang, the young mother whose fortitude had inspired him to face his own challenges, the schoolboy who was mature beyond his years and quick as a whip with the binoculars, the schoolgirl who took such beautiful pictures, the prophet who was always sure to hide a pearl in every bucket of rocks, the classy schoolteacher with whom he had gone as far as propriety would allow, the bar wench who had seemed much younger than her age, the future historian who had been the first to honour his presence there, the novelist who had become a welcome regular at his favourite watering hole, the preacher whose droning served as the backdrop for many a night by the campfire, the crazy cat lady whose tales of sales had made him laugh so hard, the boy who was really a girl who he hoped was okay, the little lady who mistook him for a wise man (which he quite enjoyed), the young couple who reminded him of another young couple so long ago, the asshole who had taught him that questions are not answered simply by asking them, the lady whose colourful balloons brought many smiles and the occasional sly grin to his face, the dragon master who helped him out of many a tight spot, the college professor who was nothing like his college professors, the friendly young man with the quaint idea that Canadian football was a real sport, the consort of a Nigerian prince who had so cleverly fooled him, the wise man with whose voice of reason he tended to agree, the golfer who had arranged for his Hebrew lessons, the kindred soul who had given him the guidebook for the next part of his journey and to whom he now entrusted his flock, and his dear friend to whom he had first shown himself without the mask and title and who had awakened something within him that he forgot existed - something he needed for the next part of his journey.

As he started out on the path before him, he looked back one more time, and thought again of the eyes that had drawn him there, the ones he had never seen - the weird mention of which had opened his own eyes to the real ones beckoning him now, as if they had been meant as a sign waiting to show him the way. And at last, he understood.

Maktub, the boy thought, as he continued on his journey. His sycamore tree was waiting.

I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you. 


Anonymous said...

You and your goddamn subtext. :)

Just Me said...

Maktub! It started with eyes...and back again. Circles.

Glad to have played my little role. Hope the coffee recipe is always savoured.

HeloniLynn said...

Hi Legacy2000 my name is HeloniLynn but you can call me Loni, like Loni Anderson. I just wanted to let you know that I think you have a blog worth mentioning! You have been featured in a post on my blog:

I hope you will look over the short review I have written about your blog and let me know what you think. I look forward to your feedback, and to reading more of your work in the future!

TheUnwashedMass said...

Fucking subtext.

Bruce Coltin said...

When I started reading that sentence, I didn't think you were going to make it work. At some point, they usually become one clause too many and the reader can't hang on, but yours actually picked up steam. I was sorry to see it come to a close.

Psycho Babbling Basher said...

Sensei, I hope you have time to accept my humble appreciation for everything, albeit surprising to you.

All the best always.

Kate said...


Very pleased for you to be embarking on such an exciting journey.

The Quiet Riot said...

I hate goodbyes, even one hidden within the words that wrench my heart. Good life to you...good future. You will be missed.

Diane said...

You have an unbelievable talent to weave simple words into beautiful works of art.