When he volunteered to join the vessel, he was dreaming of space travel. He did not know that it would be a blood vessel.
Three men, total strangers to each other, sat in the buffet-car of the Bangkok express as it hurtled through the night toward Kuala Lumpur.
“Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” One of the men, an Englishman, waved his hand towards the silver-washed jungle as the Frenchman nodded in agreement and only the Australian remained silent, confident and knowing.
In my frustrated urgency I began pounding, trying to bust the lone port-o-potty door open. Amid all the commotion, I heard a deep drawl informatively resound, “Occupado.”
She stepped in and felt every mile of craggy earth that weathered the pair of sandals. The symbiotic crush of splayed feet on cured leather on tired earth reached up and out to the tips of her fingers; and before she could be discovered, she shirked the footwear back to rest next to her neighbor’s door.
Nora stared at the grotesque statue embedded in the rough-hewn facade of the seaside fortress, transfixed by its hideous mouth frozen in a silent scream. As if offended by the tourist’s disgusted gaze, the stony monster who had once been still suddenly jutted out from the weather-beaten wall and with its blackened teeth took a bite of Nora’s face.
They were teenagers when she traveled across the country for a visit, and there were no cultural activities to entertain her. So they ran through the dollar store and came out covered in tacky jewelry and fake tattoos.
Did you know that Albert Einstein secretly built a time machine so that he could travel to our future and secretly study physics in my physics class? I felt shame when I found out, because I had graded him an F.
I once met a man who had never ventured out of his home state, let alone country. He didn’t understand the world from where I came, but neither did I understand the world by which he lived.
In retrospect, I’d say that travelling was quite similar to using a new bath salt: exciting at first because it’s new and different but then you’ve been in too long and your fingers start to prune and get all nasty just like they do for any other bath you’ve ever taken – but I have to admit, Bill’s excitement to see Barcelona and Santorini, Cairo and Istanbul, Tokyo and Singapore, Auckland and Ushuaia and all those other places I’ve already been to not once but thrice, seems to have reignited an excitement in me that I rendered long gone. Although I desperately long to settle down and stay right where I am for once in my life, Bill gave me the gift of feeling young again – that wondrous excitement of youth – so I suppose the least I can do for my husband is pour in the salt and take a bath with him.
If I ever go to Frankfurt I think I shall make a joke about the name.
Then I’ll feel dumb for being so cliché.
We laughed and ate and drank and fucked and sighed and slept.
We connected on a deeper level and then, then we went to the zoo and watched a seal swim about.
She knew if they went to the Eiffel Tower he would just make some crude penis joke.
So she broke up with him and went overseas by herself.
Round and round I go.
I am the Goldfish explorer.
The flight seemed to take forever and one of the chicks was getting quite annoyed.
Finally, after 20 hours of flying south, the ducks arrived safe and tired in their nest.
I think an agency somewhere should develop a way a person could travel a long distance… while unconscious. It would be great to arrive at the airport, get a shot in the arm, and then wake up in Paris; to me it would seem like an instant, but not so to the handlers responsible for me during the long and tedious trip; and for this reason I would give each of them a fat tip… ahead of time.