Between two destinations there is a bus stop; a train station; a sidewalk. There’s the place where you’re napping at a train station beside the evening bustle, or looking at a map in some crossroads between farmlands, or refueling in the dark silence of twilight at some highway town pit-stop. These places are somewhere neither here nor there, they are the in-between.
The in-between is not one place, nor one moment. It is a temptation and a mood, a default and an exception, a missed plane and a stressful moment. It is the precarious and odd balance on the spine of a summit of a mountain, waiting on the wind of news of an arriving train or bus, or click of a full gas tank. It’s time when there’s nothing to do but wait.
You can’t force it, because if you went to these places on purpose it would no longer be an in-between, it’d be a destination. The magic would be gone.
No, it exists only in that peculiar, changing amount of time. Whenever the bus arrives, when the gas tank finishes filling, whenever your thumb gets you a lift.
Even more curious is when you miss your transport out of the in-between. Of course the moment becomes stressful, no longer an odd reflective limbo, but only so much can be done. Eventually, whatever needs or can be done is, and you return to equilibrium.
But, sometimes, it is too major a mistake, transportation that was absolutely needed, necessary, imperative to reach your destination. It wasn’t just going somewhere either, but travelling with a different state of mind than normal. It was to get to a new home, or to a new job; it was an international flight to avoid problems or a last ditch effort to try something new, it was something exciting and different and amazing, but now it left without you.
It becomes too much, and you don’t know what to do. There’s so many branches where you are that you could follow, that you just stare, undecided, frozen in indecision and confusion.
This is the most powerful of the in-betweens, this state of mind. It exists in a painful way.
Painful as anywhere is an option. Everywhere is where you are. The world is no longer destinations to be seen, but journeys to find what’s worth going to.
But you still must choose where is next. The indecision pulls you and stops you. Choosing will always both open and close doors forever, others open and close temporarily; you will never know which are which.
The world is much bigger in this in-between. Like how a city becomes enormous when you become lost, the possibilities seem endless when the next step is to simply choose anywhere.
It is a kindness to be in this place, to be let go from the expected. To be, even for the smallest amount of time, not in control. The whole world stopped and waiting for the gas tank to be full, your whole world stopped.
And then it clicks, and you go on your way.