Still Walking

She wondered how long she had been there. It started to feel like a long time only because her feet began to ache. But she could not stop her endless march down the shiny laminate paths. One foot plodded in front of the other as she tried not to count her steps. She was not even looking around anymore. It was a losing battle trying to ignore the monotony of every stride. Too long, she thought. But what else can I do?

Once upon a time, she wandered the isles of the CVS looking for help; the little pill that would take her pain away, the aromatic candle that would soothe her to sleep, the right hue of red that would brighten her lips so she felt beautiful again. This is where it started. Dreaming of a better tomorrow. A quest for relief from the shelves which surrounded her journey.

But she had been here too long. Gone were the days when she hoped for a tiny little pill to take away all her pain. The more she wandered, the more she dreaded what happened when the meds wore off. Her heartache pounded low and deep, as if a good night’s sleep is all it took. But then an intermittent ache would pierce through her morning. Once her angry demon had returned, the torture reset just as if there was never a second of rest.

She had been here too long. Gone were the days when she trusted in the right combination of organic foods, essential oils, exercise and rest. The more she wandered, the more she realized the vanity of prolonging her existence. Eat the fat, avoid the fat, we all will feed the earth in the end. Her hours could be spent toiling over food, drink, and body fat percentages. Her hours could be spent wandering in a CVS drug store. The outcome is the same, so why bother?

She had been here too long. Gone were the days when she could fool herself with the vitality of youth and beauty. Catching a sideways glimpse in the security mirror of the deep wrinkles where her smile used to be, she was tired of looking for the product to magically reverse time. Running her fingers through her thinning hair, she was disenchanted with the hair thickening shampoos. Stroking her hand over the countless shades to create an attractive face, she was weary of painting over what was supposed to be God’s masterpiece.

Walking slowly to nowhere, up and down the same aisles of deceiving answers. Not one of these solutions would make this walk lead anywhere except the end of the walk. Not one of these tools or medicines could create an existence of meaning beyond what had been stocked on the shelves.

Until one day, she listens to a call from outside. She hears a song unlike the incessant standard 90’s classics humming over the loudspeakers. This sweet hymn speaks of sunshine and rest, her forgiveness and comfort. She hears a voice calling her by name. She hears of another world past the stickered glass windows. She hears of her life forever without pain, loneliness or sadness.

Yet, she is still walking through the aisles of the CVS, peering over the crowded shelves of half-truth promises into the bright horizon. Hoping for the day when the sweet morning breeze will pour in from the open front doors for her to breathe in. Expecting the moment when the natural warmth of the sun will overcome the artificial chill of the air conditioning. She had been here too long but gone are the days when she worried about her temporary, meaningless wandering.

She finally heard the truth.