The house is crumpled clean. We have a sitter to wait for us when we are gone. A woman that works for my wife will live in our space for ten days. We have scrubbed and polished our little abode for her, made it nice for when we come back. My kidneys hurt with the nervous excitement before a trip. I am ready for the Yucatan Peninsula, to the south I will go. I will find a grass cabana to while the days and a beachside bar to whistle my thirst of night. I will let the salt cake on my skin and clump seaglass in my pockets. I am happy for a holiday with someone. Dawn is weary of my non-itinerary; she is worried that I am dragging her to Honduras. I am happy to be with her.
”We’re just going to Mexico honey, a nice beach and cocktails with little umbrellas in them.” I say, smiling a grin that hits my ears.
I have never told her the absolute truth. I tried once early on, but I saw she started to get afraid and not understand, so I backed off. Since then, I’ve always done down my life to her and just about every body else. It is easier not to explain, when telling the truth is complicated, it is better to let white lies drift.
I have had three passports since turning eighteen. The first two we’re filled up by the time I was twenty-one. The third, the one I have now, is almost expired and it is the genuine article; Navy Blue, Charles Manson college photo, Eastern Europe and SE Asia globe trotter.. It is a worn, simple hippie passport. Dawn has never seen it and she will see it tomorrow. She will see my yellow, fold out immunization record and all the diseases I’ve had. I am afraid she will ask questions.
When we get off the plane we disappear.
I will never be able to tell her all the real places I have been. I want to, but I cannot trust her with my vanity.
Our dog is with friends passed around like a schnapps bottle by a couple of high school kids. He will live with other dogs and have different masters. I haven’t been away from him for more than twenty-four hours for the last six months. He is stepping into a new world. I abhor traveling companions. I always feel responsible when things go wrong. I have slept in fear most of my adult life. I don’t care if there are ants in the bathroom or rumpled sheets, I’ve lived with roaches on a concrete floor.
”I think the dog will be okay.” I tell Dawn.
Aside from my friends hanging it over my head that they took care of my dog for a week… (But not these friends, they know a bit of history and were dragged on the Mekong with me for fourteen days). I have to term with someone in my space far away at home and by my side. I’m used to being accountable for myself and when other variables are introduced into the equation, I become flustered and stressed. My blood is boiling. Hell, my plane might drop out of the sky. My seat assignment is in the Emergency row.
I’ve been anonymous my whole life till now. Now I gotta go live like a traveling vagabond to keep up my front. I’ll be on the plane that won’t crash in seven hours. I will be on a beach in half a day. Don’t envy my self-absorbent self. Something more has to be done. I will surely forget.
I’m not done yet. Remember the crumpled house? I’d iron out the wrinkles, but I like to climb over the ridges. It reminds me of the conundrum of the wolf spider web; a vortex tucked in corners, ready to pounce on ants thrown in by pre-adolescent boys. Get rid of the space between two ideas and the space widens so tight you exhaust. Ever exhaust? Try breathing under water.
Welcome to my world
If it was so bad deep down I wouldn’t convince you to spelunk. Leaving a crumpled house behind to escape the momentary laughter of forgetting we absorb and delude each day in all our little towns is a mere mote in the spiraling universe. Sigh high and relax among the palms and let the surf bounce off toes. Let the essence of being transcend the abyss of chalet dreams and gondola wakes. Hide the ball and roll it later.