Paper Bag pt. 2

I called out a greeting and a conversation much like the one I just held repeated itself. “Where am I? How did I end up here? This is so embarrassing, but do you know where I am?”

“I do not.” One fly, I assumed the husband, replied meanly. “I know myself and all things concerning that. Why would I know anything about you?”

“Curiosity?” I suggested.

“Hmm, I don’t recall ever having that.” His scowl deepened. “Who did you say you were again?”

“I didn’t.”

“Well, who are you?”

“I don’t know.” I confessed. “I can’t seem to remember.”

“Don’t you know who you are?” The wife spoke up.

“Rightly it seems I don’t.”

“Well you won’t figure that out standing here. Get a move on. Getta’ going. Go on!” She shooed my away furiously.

Hurrying along dejectedly I wandered for what seemed quite a long time before coming to another home. This one held no persons on its porch nor even a single rocking chair. “Excuse me?” I stood just shy of the steps, leaning this way and stretching that way to see into the dark open doorway. Finally I heard the click clacking of a cane against hardwood. A stooped figure of a grandmother maggot appeared out of the dim light, slowly making her way outside.

This is the person, I thought to myself, suddenly filled with feelings of awe. This is the person who will dispense wisdom and tell me what I need to know. I began what had become my usual introduction as she stood patiently listening. “Please,” I looked up at her with big eyes. “I need to know who I am and where to go.”

“Why?” She asked, seemingly confused. “Why do you need to know these things?”

“It’s the only way to move forward.” I reasoned.

“Move forward to where?”

Exasperated I threw up my hands. “I don’t know!”

The old woman chuckled and invited me to sit on her steps, next to her as she slowly bent her boy to rest on them. “You’re so worried about your problems. You seems to have so many. But you’re wrong. You only have one problem. You’re so greedy! You don’t need to know anything. Not where you come from, not where you go, not even who you are. You don’t need to know any of these.”

“But how will I get by?” I asked.

“By simply getting by,” she said. “Life is not so complicated. Follow your heart from moment to moment and you will find it leads you in all the right directions, not all of which are thought of or planned for.”

“But what if you don’t know what your heart wants?”

“That’s perfectly alright. The most important thing is you are trying, and because of that you are already on your way. Even if it is slow going, enjoy this time; when you reach your destination, for everyone eventually does in one way or another, there will be nothing left for you save boredom and fond memories.”

“But,” I still hesitated. “I still don’t see how I can be on my way if I don’t know my destination.”

“Eh, you make it so complicated!” The maggot scolded, suddenly pushing me away. “No one sees the end, where they are going. But that’s no reason to stay put. Aren’t you curious, even just a little?”

“I’m more scared than anything.” I confessed.

“Fear and curiosity are curiously similar.” She patted my back. “Go on. You know you’re going to eventually.”

Taking the old woman’s words as baggage I thanked her and stood, looking all around me. I saw the bright, blinding light which led to the mouth of the bag, closer now than ever. Because it was so bright, if I walked towards it, there was no way I could see where I headed until I was there. Without another thought I put one foot in front of the other, moving towards the unknown.


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