The Colony of Voluntary Exiles

by ozge baykan

Voluntary exiles spread fears and feces, diseases and monstrosities, all the suffering and suffocation, ruthlessness and rootlessness of the world, just like a horsefly that cheekily spreads its filthy eggs in the most paradisiacal corners of the earth.

Hence the answer to those who were wondering: how can the same miseries and the same elegies possibly be felt in the same way by millions of lives that live side by side without even knowing that there are others that breathe? Voluntary exiles, irreverently carrying the seeds of ignorance and uncertainty, the pest of life, from one soil to another. No one is to be blamed but them.

While you continue to plod on, fearful of questioning your life, which you are afraid of rebelling against, the voluntary exiles of the world already sense one's dread and transform it into another's breath.

There exist thousands of voluntary exiles around the globe. Voluntary exiles, who can expertly camouflage themselves inside the sedentary communities of contemporary society — just like chameleons —, will uproot themselves in a moment of despair to once again hit the road.

While voluntary exiles are naively convinced that every person exists for a reason and has a role in the communal balance, they firmly believe that they are useless. Period. This is the only way in which they can justify their existence and maintain their mental integrity.

On the other hand, voluntary exiles suffer from chronic dissatisfaction.

The only liberty for them is to challenge the world by seeing it (see the world!) - mocking all pitiful slaves of sedentary life.

Thus do voluntary exiles bleach their lives with liberty. At least they believe they liberate themselves with travels. They think that they are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient when they do that.

But in the happy fear that freedom gives them as well as the hesitance to deserve happiness, they sluggishly hold on to their ever-growing expectations.

The only connection to their life is the ephemeral satisfaction of walking the world. They think that the water drops that they pour on their lips can quench their thirst yet they have constant thirst.

They may be in escape, or in asylum. Some succeed in being ephemeral, others not so. Some end up packing once more, while others give in to laziness and grow roots.

It is hard to dispossess a homeland. It is hard not to go back, to quench your illusive longing.   

The travels of voluntary exiles are like the pleasure one gets when reading a text the first and only time. That's why they cannot notice the typos of a city. They don't know the number of its paragraphs. They cannot analyze its sentences. But they can catch a comma that had been overlooked after twenty years of reading. Voluntary exiles don't need to connect any dots. They are the city's shortsighted eyes. Impartial and ignorant.

And that's how they defeat you over and over again — with their pervasive cynicism, their seductive libertinism, their invisible ambition and caring indifference.