"Before you start down this road again," the old man said, "remember the girl with the pretty eyes."
I glanced up from my phone, looking into the face of the ancient and maniacally disheveled Asian man who had paused his unsteady amble down Market street to address me as I leaned, waiting, against a bus shelter. Unnerved by the lucidity of his gaze, I removed my earbuds.
"Remember the trail of broken hearts, many of them your own.
Don't forget the carelessness with which you have treated so many. Calling it 'part of your journey' is a lie whispered to yourself.
Is it not enough to have lost yourself somewhere along the way? Must you lead others astray as well?
There is magic in you, but it's a fine line between a tear brushed away and a black eye. A hickey is just another bruise.
When you walk down the street, and you think you see her face, remember how her eyes remind you of another girl, thousands of miles and millions of years ago."
The bus was arriving at the stop, forcing him to shout over the noise of the engine.
"And when you wonder to yourself if it is your destined fate to wound, remember that a hammer can destroy a home or build one. If it hurts everywhere you touch, maybe your finger is broken.
Remember that there is nothing but the path, and what you build along the way."
As he shuffled away, I realized the bus had gone. I wasn't sure if it had been mine or not. It can be difficult to navigate when you realize that all destinations are equal, but all journeys are not.