Wanderers

I don’t really know where to go, and who to hang out with anymore. But then, on reflection, I realise I never did. I’m just an older, greyer version of the kid at school who would wander round and round the school grounds, aimlessly, alone, pretending to go somewhere, though fully conscious that I was going nowhere at all, for I had nowhere to go, forever the outsider.

Ultimately I left that school some 25 years ago to escape that endless monotony, but I guess I never found a way to escape my wayward meander far away from the thronging crowds. Even when I joined the blogging fraternity 15 years ago, I remained on the periphery, wandering, wandering around the edges, dismissed by the serious writers and thinkers already well established, to which we would cling like fanboys and groupies, desperate that we might share a slice of their fame.

Anyway, social media killed all that, abandoned blogs now but graveyards, to provide archaeologists and anthropologist a treasure-trove to mine in their understanding of a brief moment in time. Twitter and Facebook soaked up the residue like a sponge, and now only isolated bloggers witter away, to be read by nearly no-one, except the occasional wanderer passing through, and skim-read by internet marketeers, bestowing likes in the hope of reciprocation as they grasp desperately for an audience to whom they can sell their wares. Ultimately they too will disappear in time, embittered by their efforts for so little gain, leaving the rambling ones to ramble on, penning essays that no one will ever read, except for the self, dispensing therapy aimed inwards alone.

I return from time to time to the movers and shakers of community, hoping to find something to cling fast to, but return, disappointed, coming back empty handed. In truth, I don’t really know where to go online anymore, or who to hang out with, or who to listen to, or who to read. In real life, I keep the company of a few: wise counsel where I can find it, family and friends. Sometimes my ego petitions me: “Still you are nobody, and nobody cares what you have to say.” But to my ego, I mostly reply: “Alhamdulilah. It is better that way.”

I do not write all this for pity. It is not a tearful lament. I came to terms with my eccentricities long ago; with my voice, the exact same tone as background noise, which forces me to shun large social gatherings; with the emptiness within which makes me defer to the wisdom of others. No, I am happy with my station, wandering hither and thither. Alhamdulilah for the blessings of obscurity.

{Postscript: yes, but it is true, everything I write is pure ego.}

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