San Diego, California. April 2011.
Too many hotel rooms lately have screamed Romance
too many miles flown, the bedsheets instead bear the burden of a dead man
who still thinks room service coffee will save his life.
This year so far might as well have been yesterday or ten years ago or never
you don't really care which. You fumble for the remote in the darkness.
Every time you get on that plane you clutch your book to your chest
knowing it's the only thing that will be real for the next few hours.
Everywhere you go there are reminders that human beings try as hard as they can
to avoid being alone. Every waking moment, constantly.
It's something you're finally beginning to understand, after all this time.
You wonder if it's too late for you and allow a grim inward laugh at your own ridiculous fatalism.
The alarm clock goes off, taunting you with red numbers and confusion
breakfast comes through the door and the uniformed guy with the cart is so cheerful
that you find yourself leaning over the balcony railing with a cup of coffee in your hand
staring at the distant surf and the white beach
and making up his story in your head, his wife, his kids, his house, his hobbies.
You imagine it's pretty great, besides the whole delivering food on a cart bit.
The next day you watch a roller coaster go around three times, frozen in your tracks
debating, biting your lip, squinting
wondering if you should just get on the damn thing
just like always but
maybe you'd forget, as you flew around weightless and childlike
and you'd get to just ride a roller coaster for a few seconds
just ride a roller coaster
like a little kid