MY OLD FRIEND (prologue to the wild unknown)
A highway road map of the United States lays on the floor in front of me, as my waking excited eyes attempt to focus on tiny ventricles with tiny names. It’s corners are curled up and crinkled from years of being refolded in different ways, and jammed back into a glove box or console already overfilled with batteries and flashlights, insurance and rolling papers, sunflower seeds, and the occasional forgotten cookie that leaves oily translucent reminders of truck stop indiscretions. What lays in front of me is a world on top of a world, a love letter between moments and distance, a photograph of an old friend I’ve never met. My finger slides down the lines of the route that will take me to another place and time, like slipping my hand into that of an old lover’s, wondering if the last kiss will feel like the first again. The excitement of the unknown has a death grip on me, and causes my thoughts to wander and spin. I go through my catalogue of memories and carefully clip out all of my favorite parts. With a surgical precision I stitch together the bits of different adventures, and can hardly wait for my beautiful monster to live again. I imagine, one day, when my body is too old and broken to ride the wind, I will spend my time telling inflated stories of these precious few days to whomever is willing to listen. I will pull out this old map and point to the creases and stains and laugh with remembrance and say things like,”and this one is from that time…”.
I will try hard not to think about being forgotten all together. The inevitable fate of my old friend lies hand in hand with my own. I await that day, long after my earthy remains have turned to dust, the last utterance of my name will drift into the wind. Drift home. And join with the ghosts of adventures past, in a choir of whispers that can only be heard by those seeking the place where the moon meets the sea.
But not today.
Today a new chapter will be written, and I will hold tightly to whatever may come.
Today, I hurl myself into the wind yet again, clutch tightly to the wings of freedom, and fly heart first into the great and wild unknown.