Meandering

I am a tourist.
I get away from it all. The predictability. The monotony.
I am a tourist. I travel light.
Jeans and a couple of shirts. Good shoes. A book. A kindle device, even.
Headphones? A must. Plugged into a device? Not necessarily.
Anything to avoid a conversation. No words can improve silence. Nothing compares to quiet.
Shades over the eyes. Essential. Don’t want people to look into my soul.
For, I have left it all bare.
Unmasked.
I am a tourist. I don’t really need to hide.
Anonymity shields me.
I can be me. Need no mirror, no makeup to conceal anything, anymore.
I become one with the floating entities that linger, on the fringes of activity.
I am a tourist. I no longer follow a routine.
Wake up. Stretch. Make coffee. Sip. Gulp. Read the paper. Huh? Scan the paper. Right! Cook some. And then more. Laundry. Vacuum. Slash on some lipstick. Run a comb through the mess I call my hair. Run some more. Put on a face. A smile to disguise vacuity. Exist through the day. Return. Watch telly. Heat up leftovers. Curl up on the sofa. Watch more telly. Brain sufficiently numbed. Collapse in a heap. Evasive sleep. Fits and starts. Confront self. Hide from self.
Not anymore.
I am a tourist. I break free.
I walk about in my sneakers, never mind the usual obeisance I need to pay high heels, otherwise.
A tourist needs to walk. Not those mincing steps, an accepted, unquestioned attribute to femininity. Strong powerful strides, apparently without purpose.
Well, that is the purpose.
None of those guided tours for me please. Not being herded into corrals like cattle, boarding buses and trying to glimpse life from a confining frame.
No cameras for me please. I am not that kind of tourist. My mind sees, my heart remembers. Mindspace over landscapes and portraits.
I’m not having a conversation that goes- Been there? Done that? It’s not about how much I’ve seen.
Well, I’m not having a conversation. Period.
Not anymore.
For, I am a tourist.
It’s all about how long it takes me to soak in the sun, and revel in the rain.
I wander, pay no heed to maps. Who needs structure?
I’m all for the collapsible now.
It’s only about comfort.
It’s about lounging, strolling, lingering, savouring, and just being.
Nobody notices a tourist, here today gone tomorrow, saying please and thank you and nobody notices.
Get on a bus and see where it goes, explore the city, move from cloistered spaces to little clusters and then space.
Oh, the spaces.
Walk into a café, sit for two hours, sipping on a mocha latte.
Dig into desserts, stop counting calories.
Order something new.
Again, let’s traverse the promenade.
I am a tourist.
One who doesn’t need to travel to be one.
Sometimes, I need to be the tourist in my life, unhurried and leisurely.
I need to banish time, sleep in, order out, let my hair down, sit on a bench for hours, watch the world go by,
and then will I notice all the beauty around me?
All that beauty, I cannot see. Shaded by anonymity?
Do I need to travel to be a tourist,
or do I just need to change the way I look at things?
Let me mull over that.
I am a tourist. I have taken time off my life, to live. To be me.
I am a tourist.
It feels good to be free.
It feels great to be me.

Tourist

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