The Idea and the If

In Love, Travel on March 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

How do I know if it’s you or the idea of you?

When I left Galway, an idea’s all I took with me.  After all, a city doesn’t fit into an airport carry-on too well, especially when a gal’s lugging four Irish sweaters home in it after her half-year abroad.

Since I couldn’t pack the city, how, then, could I miss anything but the idea of it?  How, then, could I miss anything but the idea of potluck dinners spinning into sing-song in rooms with red walls?  Or the idea of jugglers and fire-spinners and djembe drummers – my friends  – jumping into the sea on rare days with sun?  Or the idea of winding cobbled streets that no longer lost me, but led me: to Ernie’s Greengrocery, to the crappy burrito shop, to the sea?  How, then, when I arrived back home, landlocked and lake-bound, could I not miss the idea of the sea?

We miss what we are distant from, what we leave or what leaves us.  How, then, do we ever miss anything but ideas?

I miss the idea of you now you ain’t ‘knocking and tapping and Christmas wrapping’ round my door no more.  I miss you when we drop eyes across an accidental cafe run-in or shop stop-by.  I miss rolling sushi and counting your grey hairs and kissing your hands and hanging on to the idea that if “ifs” (what if, if only, if ever, if by chance) could have a tense – could have a “will” “was” “won’t” – instead of that  nearly timeless spot of night they occupy, well, then, they wouldn’t shine so much.


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