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》 Part 1: Why am I here?

 

 

“’’Cuz you’re destined to be here.”

A staff responsible for collecting the flags told me. “There must be some connections between you and this land. The connection extends to this life and leads you here to have a look.”

Is that my answer?

 

I’ve Reset Everything.


Day 2. Enormous wind blew while we walked on the sand dune.

 

There were 50 plus kilometers in the stage 2. Little sunshine in the early morning. Strong winds keep bringing sand up into the air and scrap through my ears. Clouds are heavy as messy wool, dragging its own heavy body chasing. The sandy wind has cover the view and getting the color of the surrounding fade away. Everything I see melts into the color, yellow. I pull up my Buff headwear to cover my nose and mouse. The sand dunes ahead seem especially steep. The little red flags spreading in the desert near and far are like tiny rice getting buried by sand, but they still try their best to get out to take a breath. Footprints left by the previous runners will be eliminated after tens of minutes, like mocking at any attempt of setting records in the land of sand.

“I’ve reset everything.” The desert said.

“But I’ve left some proof of my existence by every step I made.” I said.

“You’re just another Sisyphus.”

Then is the sound of the wind blows.

 

 

About the Monster Called “REALITY”

 

Every time attending this kind of marathon events, it’s more about escaping, rather than searching, I think. I don’t have too much disaffection toward my life. I have a job, a family and some money in the bank. I have a cigarette and some alcohol once in a while. Nothing too special, but also nothing to complain about. The biggest change that growth has brought me is knowing what reality is. It has no specific shape and color; even if it does, no one ever notices. It normally hide itself in a dark corner and open its huge mouth, awaiting for something called “dreams” discarded by people as its food. Sometimes it sees people giving away their dreams with tears, but usually they simply lost them from their pockets of their black suits. The Reality awaits and tastes the varied flavor of dreams.

I tell myself, “It’s good enough for my life.”

Roger Waters keeps singing by my ears, following the song yesterday.

 

How I wish, how I wish you were here

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl

Year after year

Running over the same old ground

What have you found

The same old fear

Wish you were here

 

The high school classmate of mine who has no chance to face the Reality of the society has brought his dreams away. For us, who have stayed for more stories to tell, I wanna tell him:

“Hey! In this world, most of the people have been living like this: wearing a suit and be thrown into a fish bowl to swim while struggle day after day. Mirrors circle the fish bowl, persuading the people inside that they look perfect, and the world is broad. Sometimes, we think we’ve find a companion along the way, however, we figure out that it’s just the image of ourselves. I heard, fishes’ memory and only last for 7 seconds. Does it means that, we forget that we’re simply talking to ourselves every time we make a turn? How sad. But it’s also because we forget thing, we can be happier.”

In the previous series of 〈20th Century Boys〉, Naoki Urasawa, the auther, continuously telling himself, It’s good enough for my life. After no long, he would turns to his enemy friends and says,

“There are times when you have to do it with no other choices.”
So, I might not here for some kind of destiny. I’m here for escaping some other specific kind of “must” in life. I go against the wind on the sand dunes, walking step by step. At the back of my hands, the skin is red and in pain due to the non-stop exposure under the sun. But I kept walking. It’s my only way to get close to my destination. I rest with my companions om the top of the dunes once in a while when we get tired. Looking back at the footprints we have left in the sand, we wait for the winds to erase the proof of our existence gently after a while.

 

Time Disappears in the Place of Silence.

 

We take turn leading the way, so we can step on the footprints of the people in front of us and safe some energy. We’ve been walking for about 13 hours, more than 50km. Wind is getting weaker now. I can see the sun watching from behind the dune at west.

At around half past 7, the sky is getting darker. For safety, the organizer is picking up runners who haven’t finished the race. The locals say, even for them, who grow up here, drive jeeps into the deserts. The taboo here is, never stay in the desert at night. I’ve heard that, fishers can only be real fishers when they learn to fear the ocean. For people living here, the sacred god and goddess living in the desert have their mercy, and also their own space and time that should not be invaded.

There’s light still. We have 1-2km left for the day. No matter what, we got to get it done before the closing time. Keeping going is much easier than giving up when we get this far. The sun is sinking away; stretching my shadow extremely long to somewhere I cannot see the end of it. Now I can barely see the red flag with my sunglasses on. I take off the sunglasses in hope of having a look at the last mile of the day; however, I just can’t find the camping site in my view. We lay down our head, speed up our pace till the staffs call us to stop. The wind today is too strong that we must stop and get on the car. The place to stay for the night has been changed to a yurt site belongs to a winery. Does it mean that we’ve finished the race today or we’re forced to give up? We’re confused, till the judge guarantees that we’ve complete the race. I shout and yell and scream in excitement with my friends hugging together.

I’ve forgot when is my last time being so exciting. But I do know that I still have passion toward life.

 

After around 20 minutes of the ride, we finally reach the place to stay. We’re led to the dining room before we have the time change our dirty cloths. The people at the winery are pretty friendly. Except for the goats freshly killed in the afternoon, they take out red wine they brewed themselves to treat everyone. I walk out of the winery after drinks, find a corner aside and then throw out. There’re still noisy inside. I clean my mouth and light up a cigarette, in order to erase the smell from the stomach. Light from the stars in the sky echoes with the light from the cities faraway. The Yellow River, existing before only in the textbooks of history and geography, lies right now in front of me. She rows the wheel of time across millions of dynasties, witnesses the existence of the cities and human being, from sunrise to sunset; from prosperity to recession. They keep changing. The only thing that never changes is the Polaris shining in blue and white. She watches the mother river in silence.

So, tonight, the time has faded away. Time has faded away.

 

 

Goodbye, My Friend. We might never See Each Other Again.


The yurt we stayed for the night.

 

There’re around 20km only for the very last day. We finish it at ease. There’s no big problem except for the 3 tiny blisters underneath my feet due to rubbing by the sand particles. 5 km before entering the finish line is the last desert district. Over the dune, the race is done. I look back at the desert we stayed for the past 2 days. The beautiful curving outline lies underneath the ocean blue sky like a woman.

When we reach the destination, everyone is smiling. We hug and high five with each other. I get to the finish line, but I am not in a hurry of getting over. I must cross the line with my friends, my great companions who have walked all the way for the past 3 days together. The race, 3-day, 111km, has ended.

We, a bunch of strangers coming from everywhere, visit this place we’ve never expected before and share our life, and then we will farewell again. We exchange our way of communication on the celebration party; however, we know it clear that, some of us might appear in the next race, and for some, we might never see each other again. We enjoy the moment in satisfaction. This is also the most precious moment of the whole race.

 

 

Wish You Were Here.

4 am in the last day, we get on a bus for the airport. Some are using mobiles and some are sleeping. I looked out of the window. The beige light from the car cover the small sand dune on the road side, eliminating the sense of the space. It’s a bit like brown cardboard box sticking on the black screen. From inside the car, it looks like paintings flying backward. Two worlds have been separated by a layer of transparent glass. I’m in the smaller world, with air conditioner and comfortable black seat and now silently playing pop music. In another world, there’re still strong wind and small nocturnal animals moving around. And, possibly, the gods and goddesses of the desert are still in deep sleep.

12 hours after, I return to the place I started, and continue my original life.
 

All in a sudden, I have the answer to the question I’ve kept asking again and again, day after day.  “Why am I here?” And the answer is so pure and so simple.
‘Cuz I’m alive.
So that’s why I’m here. And I know, as long as I’m here on the race course, we’ll meet again.
So, to those I know or I haven’t met yet, to my future friends, I want to say sincerely, deep from my heart:

Wish You Were Here.

 

 

 

(Original Article)

 

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