There he walked along that dusty road, once again shunned from solace. Just when he thought he'd had everything well in hand and he was safe and perhaps things could be normal, something happened. He was wrong. Again
And so he walked on the winding road, kicking up dust as he dragged his feet along the ground. He was leaving again. He felt like he was almost always walking away from something. Never did he feel like he was going anywhere.
The sun was just rising, casting the sky in grey-blue monochrome. All the stars were gone.
But there were few stars he cared about.
He shouldered the heavy load on his back, wishing for relief he knew he was not meant to have. Wishing for a place to rest his feet. Wishing for people who would accept him. People who loved him. People he would gladly spend the rest of his days with, watching all of those stars...
But then, all the stars were gone.
And so he walked, humming the tune under his breath. He had tried to whistle it some time before and failed. The notes fell too flat or flew too sharply. But he can hit them when he hums and he can remember the first time he heard it.
It was years before on Scottish bagpipes playing from a phonograph, and, at the time, he would have liked nothing more than to crack the Scottish record over the Scottish boy's head just to make it stop. He’d never cared for bagpipes.
But as he grew to love the boy, so he grew to love the song. And so he grew to learn it.
It haunted him now.
He could hear it in his head, bagpipes playing. And he could hear their voices singing. He could hear a man laughing lightly, his giggles blending in with those of his son. He could hear another shouting the Gaelic so loudly that they could scarcely hear the record anymore. He could hear another trying to keep up with the song, but never quite managing it, for though they had loved him, he had never been especially talented. And he could hear the all too familiar sound of a woman chastising the lot of them for being too drunk to even stand.
It had been one of the greatest nights of his life. There had been no grandiose adventure or daring mission. They had just gotten together as a family. That was all they had done. And they had sung that song.
It had been the last time.
But he could not get the song out of his head. It haunted him like the spirits of the dead, and there would be no escaping it even if he were deaf. There was no escaping it. There was no ignoring it. All he could do was keep walking down the road, humming the song of the past, for he would make no new songs in the future.
That was the song of a wandering man.