There was a man in the wood this winter. He chose to live there because he did not like the city anymore. He hated the noise, the smell, the view. This man thought that a tree could give him comfort and that the earth could heal his brokenness.
The name of the man was Juniper and he had worked in an office for a company that sold socks. He wore socks with dots and stripes and little pineapples on them. His favorite pair were blue and had a pattern of fir trees. Juniper wore this pair of socks when he put on his backpack and closed the door of his flat. Today was the day he was finally going to do it. His first steps felt weird, as if he was on a walk to a dream world. Every meter he got further straitened his figure and he did not look back.
He did not look at the children playing on the street and their mother who sliced an apple for them. He did not look at the men in suits that stood in front of the kebab store at their usual table, trying to eat without making their costume dirty.
Neither did he see the ginger-furred cat that followed him for more than twenty minutes.
Juniper was on his way to a new world and nothing could take his attention from the path that led him there.
Juniper saw a women with short blond hair and a bag of groceries in her hand. She had a very little nose and bright eyes. When he saw her, he stopped for a second. He did not stop walking, but he stopped concentrating on his path and followed her with his eyes. This women reminded him of his girlfriend Sally who broke up with him five months and 23 days ago. She broke up with him because he did not understand what feminism had to do with unisexual toilets and because he did not want to get children within the next year. Maybe she did not even love him.
He turned his head back on his path and nearly ran into a group of retired tourists that cried out, in their very British accent, how rude and awful these Americans are. Juniper did not worry too much about them, he was 80 percent Canadian.
The man with the backpack on his shoulders reached the subway station and dived into the open mouth of the tunnel. Down into the dark he went, or so he thought, he dreamed. Really the tunnels were very light thanks to the neon lights on the ceiling. He walked down the long stairs and through the tunnel. When he reached his station there was a homeless man. This man had a glimmer of the color of the night sky in his eyes and he looked straight at Juniper. The man did not seem to be drunk or paralyzed by other drugs. His look was sober and he had a little smile on his lips. Juniper stopped and looked back at him. „What do you believe in?“ asked the man. Now that he stood closer, Juniper saw the freckles around the night sky eyes. They built a mountain range with his wrinkles. „I think I believe in Freedom, Love and also in God, maybe.“ said Juniper who was not sure about his believes yet. „If you believe in Freedom, why do you think you will find it in the woods? Do you think it hides from the people?“ asked the old men and laughed suddenly, very loud and it made Juniper feel uncomfortable. He did not like these questions.
There were too many questions in the world. What is the meaning of life? Can true, lasting happiness be found? Can people have their own mind or are all our thoughts the product of mass media manipulation?
Juniper didn’t know the answer. He had so many thoughts in his mind and there weight was so heavy, he carried them everyday. This was one, maybe the main, reason for him to go into the woods. He needed to know if his longing for nature and silence could be fulfilled. „I hope to find peace of mind in the woods.” he answered the old man. The homeless smiled about that. It was a warm smile.