The Free Man
He became free the moment he realized he is one. But not after he got lost.
There, along the empty highway, long and wide, he drove as freely as he can humming a song he can’t rightly put where he heard, but hummed it as enthusiastically as he can anyway.
I am free, he said. Free to go anywhere. Free to go everywhere.
On his lap is the map of everywhere-and-anywhere-he-wanted-to-go. The opportunities of places are up his nose that he felt smiling all the way.
I am free, he said. Free to meet everybody. Free to go out with anybody.
He smoothed his hands on his newly bought mobile phone to store all the numbers of those he will meet and choose among them who he will go out with.
I am free, he said. Free to do everything I want. Free to do just anything.
He has a lifetime ahead of him. Only his imagination is his limit in thinking of ways to make his life exciting and fun.
Until he came on a fork on the road. One road northward, the other eastward and the third southward. Of course, there’s the other road that will lead him back, but for him, although he’s free to choose it, he’s also free not to. So he made up his mind and filtered his options: north, east or south?
As if a myriad, a ghost of a man came a-knocking on his car window. He asked, “where are you going?”
“I’m going everywhere and anywhere,” said the Free Man.
“So many in places in mind, but where do you want to go first?” asked the Ghost Man.
“Anywhere where everybody and all the fun is, can you tell me where to find it?”
“Ahh, what a travel you will endure. You have to really go everywhere to find the place you’re looking for. But if you’re going somewhere, I can point you to the right direction.”
“Somewhere can be anywhere! And I am right to go anywhere because I might find somewhere.”
The Ghost Man just shrugged his shoulder and without blinking pointed northeast.
“That’s nowhere! Why are you directing me to a road that doesn’t exist?”
“Because that’s where you want to go. You don’t want to go everywhere or anywhere. You’re just lost.”
“How can a free man like me get lost when I have the whole world waiting for me?”
“The world is not waiting for you. Just someone, but not everyone or anyone. I bet you are waiting to be found or else, free as you are, you can just go to any of these three roads and kept on driving. But you stopped. You want to be found.”
“No one will come looking for me. I am free now. I am my own man. I can go anywhere and everywhere I want.”
“Then choose a road, any road. Those roads have their own anywheres and anybodies,” and the Ghost Man disappeared.
The Free Man shifted gear and started going eastward but decided later that he should have gone straight north. He made a U-Turn trying to go back to that fork in the road. It shouldn’t have been far. He wasn’t driving that long. But he couldn’t find the fork.
So he kept driving, and driving mindlessly he did. This time, the humming was gone. He got tired and sleepy. Night was slowly creeping.
He slammed on the breaks. Furious, mad and frustrated, he got out of his car and saw that he was nowhere near where he wanted to go.
So he waited. To be found.