He travelled, of course, to forget. Influences from books and films had fooled him in to thinking that running away from the troubles of his life would offer him an escape, which he soon realised was a notion that he had never quite believed. He discovered this afterwards, when he had the time to really think about things, to delve through whatever mess had accumulated in his mind. He became a ghost of a person, flitting from place to place to find somewhere he could be comfortable, and yet on every occasion he found no reason to stay, and after too long a time every reason to leave. Cities blurred together after a while, and the galleries and museums he found solace in became beautiful tombs, long abandoned thieves’ dens which harbored the stories he so craved, of entire cultures lost to their own societies.
He missed the company of others sometimes. In the early hours of the morning when he was unable to sleep, he thought only of the desperate gripping of hands, the stammered breathing of lips as they met, the sheer closeness of another beside him. He could no longer remember the electricity which danced across the space between two people and the odd feeling of solitude even when with another. It should have upset him, I suppose, to have misplaced these memories. Instead he felt a calm which he had not before, allowed it to wash over his thoughts and stop him from hurting for a time. He still wished for love, of course. It was only when he realised that everybody did that he started to accept the loss.
He began smoking to occupy his hands as he thought, and rolling cigarettes became a comfort to him. In one city he sat on the steps of the cathedral and made one after another, placing them on the weathered stone beside him until he had gone through what tobacco he had left, and when he looked up he found that the fading sky had turned to black. It was an easy existence, one he had come across quite by accident, almost stumbled in to. After a while he realised that it became him, what he believed was him learning to care less. He became more confident, found an ease in conversations with others which he hadn’t been able to feel before because they felt more temporary, more light hearted. Music became what he could only describe as a delicacy and allowed him to escape in to another world for a while, which he thought with a bitter delight was possibly what he had been trying to do with his travelling, and his taste for the new.