Today. Five years ago. At the last stop before the end of the road. I was not in the right state of mind then. But, as the old priest of the hilltop church once said, inadvertently, “Neither are the righteous servants of God.”
Today. I was not the same person I was today as I was in the last twelve checkpoints. Neither would I like to be the same nor circumstantially different person in the future. For the past is nothing but a ghost of our remembering selves, and the future nothing but wishful thinking.
The bus doors swung open and I stepped down onto the dust of that forsaken hinterland. Out on the horizon were three tall cacti, each subsequently taller than the last such that it resembled some sort of faunal representation of a desert stairway to heaven. And on the very pinnacle of that staircase I saw the Lord our Savior. That Lord being my past self beaming down from me bright as the sun on the first day of the universe.
Five years ago today, at the last stop before the end of the road, I looked out the grimy window and saw two hitchhikers walking slowly and solemnly along the gravel, thumbs hanging out lazily, backpacks larger than they were, their boots worn down past the soles and grey as the dusty path on which they walked.
The first one said to me, as I stepped off the bus, “Today is not the day you were expecting,”
And the second one continued, “But it will come soon.”
It did, in fact, come soon. Sooner or later, everything does.