The wind howled. Sharp snow whipped his face. Ahead was an opening in the long forgotten ruins. Cut and stacked stones formed the entrance. An ancient temple. He slowed his pace. The pain of the frigid cold seemed a fitting reward. This was good, he told himself. I should be punished, should feel miserable, should be alone. Each day he found new depths of solitude. There was meaning to be found in life, but picking one goal seemed too hard. He'd forgotten how to choose.
Being lost, yet knowing exactly where he was. A strange feeling. In the physical sense he knew where he was. He could have pinpointed his precise location on a map. And yet where was he--really? He'd been wandering for half his life, never staying in one location long enough to set down roots. A night in a barn, an afternoon helping a couple with their chores in exchange for a meal, half a day digging a well. Then he was off again.
What was stranger still was that he didn't want to be found, yet was sought. He insisted it was better this way. Remaining out of reach ensured he would stay wanted. He dragged his feet through the heavy snow, piling higher by the minute. The cold no longer registered. There were levels of cold. Beyond cold was pain. Beyond the pain came numbness. He was numb. Ah, but that's speaking of him physically again. How long had he been numb internally?
For more than thirty years he'd avoided friendships and conversations of any depth. And love. He was wholly alone. Drifting. That was the worst (most challenging?) part. The drifting. There was no one, no thing even, to anchor him. He'd been avoiding responsibility. Hiding from what he should be doing.