By some stroke of instinct, the countryside escape would have gone according to design.
I was given approval to enjoy my vacation leave, not just at my day job, but at the Raketship as well. The latter, affording me one week reprieve from catching up with the rest of the team, as we attempt to hit the mandatory production demands for the week.
The matriarch, despite her apprehensions, gave her blessings. The destination might have been unclear, but I promised to return in two days.
At past midnight, four hours before the last Genesis bus leaves for the east, I was almost done with my work commitments. A quick packing of my belongings and off I go to the bus station, where the motorized coach would take me beyond the mountains and into the shore facing the open sea. I have articulated my yearning to be as far away from the urban landscape, even promising friends that for once, I will wander to feel once more the sublimity of solitary travels. It would have been a humbling learning experience.
But omens, mind-made or not, yanked me back to home. Perhaps, this is not a trip for the faint-hearted.
And so, at past 2 in the morning, after seeing to it that my side work is accomplished, I sneaked out of the house to be at the station where the last bus going to Baler was parked, and gathering passengers. It would have been a fitting and symbolic send-off to the dream of having a solo backpacking adventure - where, after the haphazard preparations to secure my provisions, I would hurl myself into the unknown, without even the most rudimentary idea where to stay, how to eat, or even check the landmarks to visit.
All I ever wanted is to be in communion with the sea.
Perhaps, in another time. Maybe with a companion who will share this great journey, I will make an attempt unannounced, and never heeding what dreams tell. But for now, without even lamenting the chance to get acquainted with the survivor in me, I will walk the streets of the city, and savor this one-week absence,
From the life I must lead.