Travelling solo

I’m heading away soon-ish. On my own. As in kid-free spouse-free wandering. It’s both fabulous holy crapola brilliance and I wish they were coming too (and what-will-I-do-with-my-arms-if-I’m-not-kid-wrangling?). I’m agitated by this excited sorrow joy. I keep thinking “if spontaneous combustion were a thing, I’d be at serious risk about now”.

I’ll be saying goodbye to 3 little faces with questioning eyes and the bear hug of him. But it needs to be done. There’s a bag stuffed full of reasons why. Too many to unpack right now. I just have to go.

So, New York, I’m coming back. It’s been too long. I need that hit. The straight to the veins life force of you.

The first time we met – I was smitten. Instantly. Utterly. A man stopped to ask why I was taking photos of the rubbish on your sidewalk “do you think it’s disgusting to see the trash out like this?” I laughed, giddishly. “Are you kidding?! Look at the snow filling its folds. Look at the soft white freshness on the black bags. So much beauty and contrast!” He grinned: “Hey yeah, I see what you’re saying”, and off he rolled. I was brimming. I didn’t usually talk like that (well not out loud). I didn’t even usually take pictures.

I was on my honeymoon then. In love with you and of course with him. New York overwhelmed me happily each day and he held me snug each night. The balance felt right. The world was at our feet – our future sparkling and sure. We were young and fresh and possible.

Ten years ago and yet much more than a decade has passed.

I didn’t know about those 3 little faces yet. How they’d tear me from myself. How I’d simply have to change or else. And how I’d fight the shedding…until one day I didn’t. I’ve always loved the word acquiesce…

I couldn’t know yet what those marriage vows meant. Such aspirational promising. A little embarrassing now. To love…to honour…and, astoundingly, to “romance”…The behind-closed-doors bearing with. The endurance. We stretched and stretched and sometimes broke. Didn’t we, my love…

And what of that body of mine striding down those snowy streets? Buoyant, light, Spring in her step despite the cold. I don’t remember anything about it other than the ease that health holds. It did what I expected it to do. It was not a thing to think of then.

I wonder how this varicosed ache, this wrenched apart and wretched body will fare. How will I walk this time through the steaming Summer swell. Will I stop to rest, to gain my bearings, to catch my breath. Will I venture out or shy within? Will I quiet the inner berate and let myself be…this older, greyer, broader me…

I’ll soon be lurching down those thrumming wonder streets…no doubt teary-eyed and aching-hearted. Awed. Loved-up. So very alone. Yet full of the four of you.

And I can’t fucking wait.


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