How We Travel

The Kooks – Kids (MGMT Cover)

We are waiting. It seems like so much of this European adventure is lost in between destinations. The time crawls or it skips and I feel like a dog snapping at imaginary flies. The waiting rooms are interchangeable. We could be anywhere. We are anywhere. Everywhere. This time we have laggers-on; friends we have cultivated on our travels. The small ferry port is sagging under our weight. The forced hungover smiles. The raucous still-drunken laughter. We are how we travel. I take my glasses off and turn my head away staring off into the comforting blindness. His ipod strums in my left ear. I follow the snaking white line to where it joins us. He is nodding his head in time with the music and carefully adding correct numbers into his Suduko. I watch him above me until my eyes draw his attention and he looks down smiling. I feel something building in the space between us, so I look away. I don’t know why he scares me. I’ve kissed enough guys on this trip to know it doesn’t have to mean anything… that, more often than not, it doesn’t mean a thing. I’ve even kissed him, once before. But, it is different now. Without that clever cape of alcohol. The bravery it induces. The confidence it seduces from me like a snake-charmer. I am laid bare here: No makeup. No contacts. No accessories or flashy-things strategically placed to draw attention from here to there. I’m just so plainly me. Me. Who would want just that? When I get the courage to look up again he is enthralled in his puzzle. It’s better that way, I tell myself.

Later, we stare into the dark abyss that should contain our ferry. It’s almost an hour late. Spirits are low. Leaning against a concrete wall balanced on our packs he pulls out a weather-worn journal.

¨So, when are you thinking of going to Florence?¨

I tell him and he marks the days off carefully on his handmade calendar. Three days allocated to Florence. He wasn’t even planning on going there. Three days allocated to me. I still can’t believe he might like me. Days down the road I will argue with Tas over this very issue. She says yes, I continue to insist no in some misplaced sense of self-preservation. It doesn’t really matter. We never make it to Florence, anyway.

Finally, we are settled into the ferry for the night. Headed towards Italy and all the promises I still think it contains. The ship sleeps as if a spell has been cast. People are collapsed into the oddest of positions. We feel like the only two souls fighting to stay awake. The couch is small so I wind my legs around his body. For warmth, I tell myself. I curve my back into the hollow his body makes. His arms snake tightly around me. Holding me close. Just keeping me from falling off, I think. The ipod still hums softly between us. A quietly drawn world of music and tactile wanderings. I feel safe here in his capable arms. My eyes close. We are how we travel. Almost lovers intertwined in a world of their own making. Impossibly close and yet, closed off from each other in the most imperceptible of ways. Hearts silent and hidden. We are how we travel. In the end; we all travel alone.

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1 thought on “How We Travel”

  1. Beautiful as always. You know I find things objectionable about this, mostly out of my own jealousy, but if what you write here is true there is something profoundly wrong about your aspect: it’s in the meantime, love, in the travel. It really is the journey, not your various destinations. I’d like to show you that myself.

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