I read a quote from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress which reads as so:
” To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward.”
Therein, I did go forward and forward until I was the age of fifty seven. The hairs on my back were slanted and the brows on my head were fervent and my boot heels were torn and my sleeves were mangled just as the sleeves of the wise man named Ken Stanley when I first saw him. Although, that was when I was steadfast and eager; if I did my math right, it was 2,478 days ago.
I could have not drank from the cup of wine and bought my life back where I would spend my days chasing ego. I could be seeking freedom in worldly riches right now with a chiseled pale by my side and a glass of septic Nile in my hand in Budapest.
I found myself instead sipping poor man’s wine from clothed canteens and glassy round jugs in Normandy. I looked for the wise man who pointed directions at me and even backtracked a bit and still it was to no avail.
I am not a seeker, believer or a follower; leader or knower. I am a clockmaker, lonely and faithless. Stanley told me that I would face a plough just like Christian did. He told me I would meet many vermin along the way and I did, including a spiteful one named Elaine. Boy, how I fell for her to the pits.
She appeared before me as a fragile thinker, curious and deep. It was only afterwards when I tried to get closer to her that she showed me who she really was; distraction. Ever wonder how peace leaves when you fall in love? How turmoil takes over?
The Labyrinthine Corridors of my life has caused me to regress in both forms of me. I have a much better sense of time however; in ten years I’ll be dead! This is not coming from a story ever after or a glass half empty but from a clockmaker reddened; punctured by nails from Elaine.
Its been 14 seconds since I last said she would become the apparition that would haunt me to the grave. Well, if dear Mr. Stanley was here with me, he would tell me to keep going… Keep wandering the labyrinth. I could hear him now with his queer gestures and brass language; “You are a child! However you have came into this bout of confusion; you are a child of God! Why stay in this town fixing clocks and drinking to bed when you can follow a cause, a destiny therein! You are a petty liar by mouth- body language tells how you feel. I know that you can change how you think.”
His words are tender to my frame and I’m running out of time. I have but 4 seconds left… 3… 2… 1.
I sigh, wind up the clock and set the wooden piece on the table top. Time to go outside for a smoke. I wonder if McGuffin’s is open after noon.