Author: Morrow Brady

It had all become so complicated. The way we worked. The way we interacted. The expectations heaped upon us by our forebears. We needed to look back at where we had come from.

It was how it was though. This world with its regulated cultural norms that must be followed. Where individuals that strayed were pointed at and ridiculed back in line. Those that persevered became ostracised from the community. Abandoned by loving families for fear that they too would lose their precious place.

I had always felt I never belonged here. Something inanely communal had been lost along the way. We’d fooled ourselves to think we could exist without it. We donned technological systems that served only to distract us. They automated our everyday needs and fulfilled desires. We accepted them wholeheartedly as it was easier. They made existing manageable. They trickled rewards in bite-sized morsels to gratify us at each moment. Extreme highs and unbearable lows became a moderate swell and we lapped it up like creamy milk.

They extricated the troublesome emotions to cushion us against traumatic experience. But deep down, sensual connection became lost. These cold, easy-to-clean surfaces forgot the warmth of wood. It took a leap of faith to return to where it all began. I journeyed for years and landed on the blue planet. I docked on the shore of the emerald isle and sought the nameless town among the green hills.

Everything starts somewhere. The sea is fed by the river and the river its source. I was at the beginning where spring water took its first breath.

I walked at late dusk and felt cold for the first time. I rambled across uneven cobbles, my aching ankles straining like never before. I squinted against the raw sunlight. I was uncomfortable. I was at risk. I felt alive for the first time.

Free from assisted navigation, I followed the grain of the town streets to the first door I’ve ever had to open myself. I strained as the heavy oak pitched aside and plunged into a soup of heaving warmth, buzzing with hearty conversation. A barrage of smells engulfed me. Smoke from a somber fire burnt my naive lungs, perfumes aroused my nasal desires and ale drenched floors awoke an inner need.

Eyes cast themselves my way as the cold closed behind me. The crowd turned away but gathered me in, luring me forward. We brushed. We touched. And I faltered at a level of intimacy that undressed my understanding. I bustled towards the brightest lights, found a seat and took my place. She approached, her petite features nestled within a frilly neckline.

“What do you need?” She asked tenderly.

I hesitated with no frame of reference to reply from.

“I don’t really know,” I said stumped.

She poised, then prepared a tall black drink with a frothy white top. One deep sip filled cracks I never knew existed. Comatose taste buds sat up in their hospital gown and leapt from the bed. A warmth washed through and a smile filled my eyes. She watched me closely and mirrored my reaction with her pixie grin.

“You’re not from around here are you?” She enquired.

My glowing smile stood on a mountain. I had never been this happy.

“No,” I said, my head shaking slowly.

“But if its ok, I’d like to stay awhile”