Wandering around my hometown again is like the beginning of a lucid dream—right before you realize it isn’t real and you can open a hole in the ground and escape to somewhere safe.
Everything is the same as I remember. Almost. There are little mistakes, little differences, as if my brain is sending me clues that it’s all a dream and I can fly if I choose. I don’t try. I do step into every still, calm puddle I can find, hoping that I’ll fall through it into the reflected sky… like you said we would as we walked along that flooded dirt road, taking care to avoid each glassy, perfect pool of sky.
Wandering the halls of my old school, I expect to see childhood friends around every corner… and I’m startled every time they don’t appear. The nearby library seems smaller than I remember it, and I can’t help but smile at a younger me, who believed that brick building held the combined knowledge of the entire universe.
The red bridge is exactly the way I remember it… from a distance. On closer inspection, it’s wider, newer, and the red paint is more fresh than I have ever seen. Its sturdiness makes me feel less safe than the warped, peeling boards of its rickety predecessor. Looking over the edge, I see the late afternoon sky, and all I want is to dive in and fly to unbelievable places until I can wake up wherever you are and be home.
Several are poets—spinning words out of air,
each line etched onto paper
like those people who carve into glass somehow
never breaking it.
Some write fiction—letting stories weave spells.
Some are artists—which makes me hopeful. Those bits and flashes of color shedding light in ways we couldn’t imagine before and now can’t imagine being without.
A couple study history, study science—the pieces that make up who we are seen from different angles.
Some like math—the beautiful way that numbers so easily define. We are all basic addition. Me+you=Us.
A few travel—one always and constantly, some only in dreams.
All are wives—perfect, graceful, wondrous to behold.
The Traveling Wife sits on the floor of an airport gate, waiting. Rewind 5 months: she was sleeping in her car in a truck stop. Fast-forward less than a month from today: she’ll be back in an airport, waiting to go somewhere else. Out of all the wives, she is probably the most elusive, but soon all of that will change…
*This was written on Wednesday, when I was indeed just sitting in an airport, waiting. I meant to post it then, but I had to get on a plane. Since then, I’ve mostly just been kind of lazy and very busy. Until now.
**Not sure where the whole “Traveling Wife” business came into play (‘cept that I’m one of the wives, and I am traveling), but I’m going with it. 😀