The Journey Begins…(in my mind)

September 27, 2007

The events in this travelogue are mostly partly true. I like embellishment, artistic license and a nugget of truth. Call me an honest James Frey. Honest cause I’m telling you up front I might be lying.
In six months, I’ll leave a well decent paying job with fantastic benefits for no job at all. I’ll leave one condo whose washer and dryer are older than me and another condo that is a hypochondriac (though, with its recent flood, it might really be sick after all) for no home at all. I’m leaving the best gaggle of friends one could have for no friends at all. Leaving my family for no family at all. Leaving my well-framed life for one I’ll catch in frames.
I’m going to travel the world.
Picking up my comfortable, predictable lifestyle is something I’ve dreamed of doing for years. But why? What is it about malaria and chicken busses and the jaunt of the open road that called me? Why was I so damn eager to sell all my acquired crap shit and tromp around, unwashed, unpredictably, out of a backpack? What was it I hoped to acquire?
As my writing teacher would tell me, Linsey, if your character doesn’t have a goal by chapter three, you’re in trouble. Lucky me, I could be wishy-washy with where chapter three began. And I’d like to think Bono would take my side over my writing teacher’s: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. And he was a Time Person of the Year, so I’ll have to side with him.
It’s like this, really. Eleven-thirty rolls around. You start thinking about lunch. (Bear with me, it’s an extended metaphor, okay?) What am I hungry for? Sushi? Too expensive. Hamburger? Too fattening. You wander up and down the Boulevard, peering in restaurant windows until you come across a little French bistro. You see it there—your lunch—it’s on the pastry rack, golden phyllo layers cradling oozing chocolate. And it’s still warm. You point at it, pay for it, find a park bench on which to enjoy it. And man-oh-man, do you enjoy it. You eye the iridescent pigeon who forages around you. No chance you’ll get a scrap of this chocolate croissant, mister, you almost say out loud. After all, you didn’t even know it was what you wanted until you saw it. And it settles you so.
Likewise, I don’t know what I’m after, what I hope to find. When my mother asked me this question and I respond with the croissant analogy, her brow deepened further. “Do you want me to make an appointment with my therapist?”
“Not unless his name is Bono.”


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