Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Road Trip 2

I'm sitting under a ceiling fan at the Mango Tree Inn, where Mike and I have been staying here in Key West.
He is lying down right now, he hasn't felt that well today, the heat, the drive, the exhaustion of our late nights have caught up to him a little bit.
Mike's been in Toronto with me since November and I sometimes forget he has to go home again.
I tend to not face it, and right now, even in all this beauty and luxury, with a whole night ahead of us on this wonderful island, in this amazing country, one that I feel so alien in and such a part of at the same time, I'm already getting the wistful, welled-up feeling I get when I know I have to be apart from him again.
I fly home from Boston on Monday night, the last flight of the day (I always choose the last flight, always, always) and I will get home to my condo about 10:30 pm or so after customs and the cab ride home. I will most likely cry on the flight. I did that last time, the time in October. I ordered a second glass of complimentary wine, read the New Yorker (Mexican gang violence and drug wars) and cried. There was an empty seat beside me and for that I gave up a little thanks, looking at the ceiling the plane as if God himself could see my raised head.
I will go back to long runs on cold weekend mornings.
I will drink too much coffee and stare off into space.
I will eat salads and sometimes forget to make a proper meal, I will stand while I eat, a terrible habit.
I will read book after book after book.
I will write.
I will pine.
Pine. The state tree of Maine.

But I will also remember how good it feels to mark one whole year of marriage, an anniversary we celebrated in Connecticut, with special champagne from special friends.
I will remember the long stretches of driving, taking shifts, taking turns, the other one sleeping while the other one drove.
I will remember the strength it took for me to get over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, driving over it myself, in Mike's parents' car, my bridge fear in full effect, my "Our Fathers" whispered so I wouldn't wake Mike up in the passenger seat. The Tydings Memorial Bridge, another huge one, Mike still asleep. The curve in the road before I reached it, innocuous enough, until I saw the road sign that said "Cross winds on bridge" and realized I had to conquer another one (I've long had a fear of bridges, almost from birth. It is a strange and irrational phobia). 
Then the tunnel. In Baltimore, impatient traffic all around me, the "Stay in your lane!" signs like an oath to me, but not to the Maryland drivers. Listening to sportscasters talk about the upcoming NFL playoff games on the radio.  The continuing warmth that met us with each ticking mile south.

I leave you with some pictures.
I'm pensive, happy, calm, and already nostalgic, all at the same time.

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