This novel is about a man who lives in the United States with his wife. He is fed up about life, and how he have lived it – and wants to get away. He tells his wife that he is going on a buisness-trip, but actually he is going on a path to find himself.
He doesn't know himself anymore, and he needs to have some freedom, so he jumps on the first train out of the city and ends up in a small village three hours away. He wanderes in the village, thinking and trying to figure everything out, and just walkes along the roads. As the story evolves he traveles to new places and meets people, and he grows as a person.
It is a traveling type of story, but also a story about finding freedom, about finding yourself and about doing what you can out of life.
The story starts with the end, so you can imagine yourself how the rest of the novel evolves, and if he finds himself at last or if he returns home emptyhanded..
Where did I go?
The moon is bigger and brighter than before, and it coveres most parts of the clear, dark-blue sky above me. The smoke from my breath is shaped like clouds and my body is cold as ice ; the grades has dropped considerably just within a few hours. I walk alongside a dusty road with nothing but the clothes I have on me and a camera in my hand. No phone, no money; no strings that can attache me to the people I know. Not even my dear wife, who I love more than anyone, could understand the things in my mind, the feelings I have or even why I had to do this. I haven't eaten in a day - but I am allright, after all. I need this, I need to be out here in the middle of nowhere – I need to do this for myself.
«Honey, I'm home !», she yelled from the front-door. I sat in the couch watching tv, but nothing seemed to catch my interest so I turned it off. She walked into the kitchen with her groceries and placed them on the bench, and as I was watching her I thought about my plans and how I should tell her. I have to tell her, she's my wife for godness sake.. I walked over to her and kissed her gently on the cheek, the way she liked it. «Can I talk to you for a moment?», I asked. «Sure, what's up?», she answered and sat down on the kitchen chair. I waited for a moment, didn't really know what to say and started regretting this conversation, but a voice inside me told me to keep on. Come on, tell her. « I have been thinking,», I started, «and I am in desperate need to go on a small trip soon». She looked at me with questioned eyes and leened her head on her palm. «What are you trying to say?», she asked slowly. I stopped for a moment; what was I trying to say ? Is it really that easy to tell your wife that you are about to sufficate in your own home, that you need to find yourself soon and that you have to, somehow, get away from everyone and everything you have ever known, just to clear you mind ? Is it easy to tell her that you have to take a break every ones in a while, and that you don't know who you are anymore ? The answer is no- there are no easy ways to tell her – so I lied. «I am going on a buisness-trip», I said. She smiled; «oh, I really thought you had one of your crazy ideas again..». Well, I had.
As I walked towards the door I grabbed the new camera I had bought and placed it in my jacket-pocket, with nothing but 50 bucks and a pen besides it. «I am leaving now», I said to her, and watched her face as it evolved into something I couldn't understand – an expression I had never seen before. «..and I may not come back in a few weeks».
I jumped on the first train out of the city and I sat down near the window. I loved looking out of trains, at new cities, trying to figure out what the lives of those who lived there was – if they were anything like me. I leaned my head towards the window and started wondering if the ones at home were worried about me, moreover – I didn't really say where I was going. It is wierd, I know that, and it's kind of stupid too, but if you were in my position you would have done the same thing. My life has been nothing but a rutine and I have had enough of it. All through High-school and College I was always the one who just jumped one the bandwagon and did what everybody else did, and when I got married and started working in a law-firm – I had done the same thing.
So, for a few weeks ago, I started thinking about life – what I had done and what I was going to do, but I didn't come up with anything. I had lived the same life for 36 years, as this booring person who never really started to live. I had just scratched the surface of life, not lived it.
I got off the train three hours later in a small village and I started wandering through the narrow streets, just exploring. I did not know where I was going, or where I was, but the whole idea of running away was more peaceful this way. It might be too fanciful to suggest that this trip is an idea which I hope will change my life, but it's true. Perhaps it is these narrow streets who can teach me how to start living again; and perhaps this is why I wandered away in the first place - for freedom, and maby I should start trusting that calm voice inside me that says «This might work and I'll try it»..
- The Book of Ideas
- Lingua English-Norwegian dictionary