Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Without Keys

He tells me maybe I shouldn’t read that.
It’s because I have been “oohing” and “aahing”
and letting out all these sighs.

He laughs from his couch.
I shift my pillows.

It’s just, I tell him, it’s just amazing.
I just want to do it.

Of course you do, he tells me.
He wants to do it too.

I mean, who wouldn’t? Sell off everything you own
and circumnavigate the globe without stepping foot
on an airplane?
I tell him about what I learn about freight cargo travel.

I sigh again, and sip my wine glass.
I look up at the pictures on the wall,
picture of our travels so far.

I think about when we were younger,
I was just out of college and settling into full time work.
It was already frightening me so we bought bikes.
We were going to quit our jobs and ride them
from Pittsburgh to California. We even told the sales guy that.
He nodded and laughed a little.

We fantasized about coming up on the Rockies, early in the morning,
the dew still on the grass, our legs aching from last night’s ride. The sun rising.
I had the whole scene.

“Imagine it,” I told him on cigarette breaks.
But it took years for me to quit and by then the bikes were stolen.

Instead we saw the Rockies by car nearly a decade later.
And we say Europe from a landing strip, not chugging
along at 25 miles an hour coming into port
after nothing but the wide open mouth of the ocean.
Don’t get me wrong, it was all beautiful.

Eventually I get back to reading, and I hear him fall asleep on the couch.
His breath steady and rhythmic like the rocking of a boat alone at sea.
There is opera on the classic station, and for a change, I like it.
I wonder how hard it will be to sublet the apartment.
And if my mother or his mother will take the cats?

I picture us, standing on the docks at Red Hook,
two backpacks holding everything we own,
a ticket clutched in our hands, fluttering in the breeze up the estuary.
Our pockets for the first time, ever
without house keys.

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