“There be monsters,” they warn in the blank spaces“Looking at Pittsburgh from Paris” by Jack Gilbert
of the old maps. But the real danger is the ocean’s
insufficiency, the senseless repetition throughout
the empty waters.
We get used to things. We are lulled by familiarity like a warm bath. It is a slow death. We bleed ourselves in the doldrums and the monotony of the everyday. We slowly slip under and drift away.
What is it about me? Why am I drawn to the blank spaces on the map, those faraway, unknown places guarded by the monsters of our imagination?
Why do I feel the emptiness most acutely when I’m at home—whatever the hell that means, as if it could ever really be a physical place.
I am restless. I am always wandering even when I’m standing still. But what about happiness? To be restless. To be happy. The two never conspired together. Though they may have occasion to greet one another, like two lonely travelers meeting in some dive at the edge of the world.