The first step is always the hardest, as Donny learned from his experience on the road.
One foot after the next, one step forward toward the wall he knew he would soon encounter. It loomed there in his imagination. It was so real he could almost feel it, smell the air around it. He was afraid of it, but knew, one way or the other, he had to move on.
“Keep moving forward”, his father told him years before. “Keep moving forward, son, and don’t let anything stop you.”
“But dad,” Donny protested, “I’m afraid.”
“We all are, son,” he said in reply. “That’s the point. Keep moving forward.”
Another step. Donny was closer to the wall, and he just knew it would be horrible, the deep dark of it would not only stop him, but end him.
Another step, then another, a seemingly endless amount of them.
With each one he took, he could feel his anxiety growing, knew he would soon meet the end of his road and be with his maker. His heart pounded in his chest, and not from the effort of walking. The steps were easy, with the ground smoothed out the way it was.
He felt something beneath his feet, a small slope bringing him slightly higher than he had been the steps before. When he looked down, he saw small scrabbles of pebbles scattered around.
Donny smiled, then. He knew this was the wall he had feared so much.
It had been broken apart, smoothed out to near nothingness by all the people walking the path before him.
He stopped walking, then, and stood atop the wall he had come to fear so much, knowing it had been nothing more than his own imaginations and machinations against himself which caused him so much anguish.
The wall was nothing. Had been nothing for a very long time.
Donny took another step, and kept moving forward.