abide me

Some days I feel like I am just biding my time. Until what? I don’t know. I was asked to go to Italy a week ago. It is a question I have longed to be asked and have asked many a time, “want to go Europe?” I have never had the affirmation that I gave upon the question.

The plans are slowly slipping through my hands. I’ve told friend after friend that my fleeing to Italy is a long wished dream. I’ve tried for 5 years to find a single friend, one who is not committed to job or person to travel with me across the country, across the state, across the universe, whatever. Plans were sometimes begun and then ditched, jobs came up, boyfriends came up. I gave up. 2 years ago I packed my bags and headed to London, solo.

London calls to a part of me that no other city does. It is something guttural and in explainable. When I left I decided to move there. I researched teaching jobs, made phone calls, and sought possibilities. I did it all weakly because deep within me, the fear to have what I long for overwhelms the part of me that will actually get it.

And now, as the plans for Italy are slipping away I realize that life has decisions that have to be made and priorities that have to be set. And I recall London and the silence of that solo trip. I remember walking in through the crowds in the tube and wanting so badly to turn to the next person and tell them everything in me that screamed for London. I wished to show someone my favorite parks, to share a cab ride with, to explore the Tate Modern with. My brother sent a friend to my rescue, but it wasn’t the same. He was a distant, long ago acquaintance and it was only dinner. I wanted more. Instead, I reflected and when I returned home I vowed to find a travel partner, if not to go with me, at least to call at the end of the day. It hasn’t happened.

I have no problems with doing another solo trip and I will if that is what it comes downs to. Because the travel to Europe bug has bitten and I have to scratch this itch. I will go. I just don’t know when or with whom. And with whom is the question that I really want answered because while I complain that single friends are slipping by and that this Italy entranced single friend may herself slide away into coupledom by the time we actually plan something, what is to say that I won’t?

I just assume the solo life. I don’t imagine it any other way. Because imagining life the way it isn’t and possibly never will be brings a sadness in me that I refuse to acknowledge. So, instead, I tuck the fear of loneliness away and go about my life. I’ve become so comfortable in this monologue, but now I am accepting that there is more to this life that what I have created. I need dialogue. And I need rescue. I’m not lost. I don’t need completing. I need love. Good old fashion, you-can-look-like-a-fool-but-I-still-love-you love. I need someone in my corner. Because I know that I can do this alone. I am independent. I’m proud of it, but why is it bad to admit that I need rescue from myself? I need someone to show me my faults because without that mirror being held to my face, how will I improve?

And so, my trip to Italy, I’m planning it for sometime near or in 2006 and I want to go with someone. I want to sit at a café table in a piazza with warm, fresh bread and real olive oil on the table between us to share. I want Puccini al fresco and someone to ride a gondola with. Because riding a gondola solo is so not the point. And looking at the Sistine Chapel for the first time alone would be like having your first kiss with your own hand. So, Italy, you are my future and you will be conquered, in tandem. (I hope)

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