The rattling seats of the bus were slowly filled. You can’t leave till the last seat is taken, that’s the rule. The curtains are pulled tight, but the light was cutting through a hole. The heat started too close in. I glimpsed out the window from time to time, before eventually nodding off. When I awoke, we had arrived. I dragged my bags to the side of the road. Feeling somewhat dazed, I sipped on my way-too-sweet Arabic coffee. I had become addicted to them. It was on the cusp of winter and spring. It was cold in the shadows, but warm under the sun. I like these kinds of days. I turned my gaze to the mountains around me, they looked back down on me. I felt small. I stood there, waiting at a cross road thinking to myself what brought me here, again?
I was on the road, on my way to somewhere. I had been traveling for some time, crossing lands, seas, cities and borders. In-between cultures, In-between realities. I had kind of got to that point in life where I was like “what’s next?” What was I doing? I was just there, in countries where I could hardly communicate. Caught between my past and my future. What do I keep, what do I leave, what do I build. Regrets, hope, dreams. Today is only transitory.
The day was coming to an end. I followed the road which cut directly through the town and melted into the sand. Along the way, empty buildings and free standing walls gradually crumbled into dust. Disappearing, brick by brick. I stood at the edge for a moment. The frontier between two worlds. The city and the wild. One step further. Another. My feet were sinking further into the sand. Camels sprint past, I never knew they could move so fast. The whole desert was glowing red. I continued. Summits raised around me. I saw a split in the middle of the mountain, a hundred meters up from where I was. As I climbed, the valley opened up. Miles and miles of nothing.
Then I saw it. A tiny a dot in the desert. What was it? I had to see. It became my focus. I got closer, circled around it. I couldn't tell if it was incomplete, abandoned or on hold. It felt just in-between. Close to an end, maybe. But to me, it was the beginning of something. I spent days visiting the valley looking for these strange structures. Here a crumbled wall, there a metal frame. Who made it and what for? Each of them was an enigma, but also an opportunity to question my own reality. If everything goes to dust and rust, what’s the point of making? When, exactly, does a project become a ruin? At the end of the day, what will remain of it? At the end of the day, what will remain of me? Looking at these tracks of what could have been, I understood I was, too, in-between.