Greener Cement

My heart is in a thousand places today, he thought to the mirror. It looked on, unimpressed. Everywhere I look, I see somewhere I want to be. There aren’t enough lives to be all the selves I want to be. I remember lying in all these beds.

Still, the cereal tasted particularly bland, and the views from the dirty window looked just like they always do. The air only felt good when we was walking through it, rushing off to someplace new, somewhere crowded with strangers.

I’m older than I remember, he thought, trying to find the face he remembered. Hands, forehead, mouth, they all looked too wrinkled.

Still, the shoes were new. That was something. Their unyielding form fought against his feet as he tried to put them on for the first time. Something new would be meeting the cement this morning. Outside, the sun was too bright, and every group moving through the world seemed like somewhere he wanted to be. All of their conversations seemed so full or mirth, laughter, insight, belonging, even if he couldn’t hear much of them.

He took the same turns, however. The roads had all the familiar bits of gum ground down into them, along with faded paint from public works projects that never commenced. The building that had been under construction for three years was still in the same place. He thought how easy it was to imagine every one else who walked down the same road everyday somehow experiencing something grander.

The familiar destination took just as long to reach as it always did. But still, whenever someone else walked by, he felt his mind following them for a while, seeking somewhere else to be.