Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers magically becoming the…
XLIV. This time when I ask to catch the sun mid yawn over the horizon, when I suggest we stay because there’s a love affair to be witnessed between the Atlantic and the moon, I can promise you I won’t hesitate. You’ll say yes, a little drunk, probably, because your mother’s a state away, and because we’re not fourteen or fifteen or even sixteen but we’re still just as desperate. Did you catch me trying to dig collarbones through my skin from the rearview mirror, the skin I wanted to remold into something more boys would smile at, and the night I cried into my pillow because home sickness is something I was, am still trying to master. Being fourteen, I think, and fifteen, and sixteen and seventeen and most of eighteen, is shameful. You don’t sing in the shower and you only ever dance in front of strangers and you don’t share with your friends the poetry you feel taking root inside and when you ask your best friend if you could maybe watch the sun set later you mumble and hide your face because you’re not sure she’ll understand, because you’re not sure yet how to ask for beautiful things without feeling like you don’t deserve them. One day your friend’s mother tells you you deserve them, the sunsets and the midnight parking deck talks and the spring drives and the poetry you’ll write all about it later, and the dances, “the dances,” she says, closing her eyes like the word tastes of something sweet and nostalgic, that of all things you’ll regret declining your body the melody of a good song the most, because shame is youth’s disease and dancing, she says, is the cure. You’ll understand later, when you master the taste of cheap liquor and shame grows to feel like something distant you talk about when you say, Well, when I was sixteen.
Today I looked out my window at the snow falling and I realized I will not be here forever and it was a comfort that I haven’t felt in quite a while because all this useless job searching and spending too much time on my own has a way of bringing you down but thankfully the weather likes to make you feel less alone.
“How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into. Maybe I need a man. One sure thing, I haven’t met him yet.”—
Today I am itching to go, itching to see, itching to do things that are not here, not at all here. I need to be someplace else and breathe its strange air and feel its own wind and taste its seas, rivers, forests, trails, smog, whatever it has in store.
And maybe that’s something like missing the most: needing to go and knowing you can’t.