Monday, October 16, 2006

two trains

Walking to work this morning, I pass two trains: an active workhorse and one that has been put to rest. It functions as a gift shop.

october 06 366

But I like to go places! Not going anywhere makes me unhappy.

You have out-traveled me. I cannot keep up. I am happy here, in my small space in the country, my past traveling companion tells me.
And I like my loft just fine. That’s not the point.
Anyone who has witnessed your excitement at booking a flight out will understand that your enthusiasm for where you live is, at best, tame.

Why does everyone question my love of Madison when, in fact, I spend more days in Madison than out of it?

If you could, you’d switch that balance of days.

I am so glad that my friends understand me better than I understand myself, for I would not have, myself, made that claim.

So where are you going this month? – my mother asks me this in the middle of September. I am terrified of telling her that, within a week I will be in France. The terror is rooted in past revelations of this sort. It’s sort of like admitting to crack addiction to your parent. You know they will wish that you were locked up. Normal people do not do crack. Normal people do not go away for a week-end in France.

For you, it’s natural. For me, for most people living here, it’s decadent. This from Ed again.

Is that true? Is it the case that most Americans would view frequent travel (and I include here not only ocean crossings, but also such things as weekends in the northwoods) as decadent? I am willing to forgo a lot to support my ramblings. I am willing to not own property, nor a car, I am willing to recycle clothing, to work extra, I own no jewelry and my CD collection sucks.

So why do you never invite me for dinner?
You’re never here.

Ah, we are at the level of excuses. I am with my lover – my passport, it grabs me away from the arms of friends and family, it makes me inaccessible. Or so the story goes.

You travel a lot. Admit it! You’re thinking of the next trip before you finish a current one.
No, I think of the next place and the place after even before I board the plane.

Me, I like travel, but I am always so glad to return home…
Me too, me too! I have great Internet at home! I like my work, I like the farmers market! And I like my trips.

A dealbreaker: what kind of traveling companion are you if you do not share my passion for travel? Or, at least you do not wish to indulge it?
I share some of it…

But in fact, most times I travel alone. If I count up the days away, most are without anyone across the dinner table, or over a café crème and a croissant. I am used to it.

Still, I want to ask this, work and finances permitting, would you not choose to get up and go? Bear witness to life elsewhere? Or is it just me and Johnny Apple?