It was hard to find a comfortable position. I’m long-limbed and can never stay still for long. I wrapped my body around an old leather jacket and road the north-bound Greyhound bus to Dallas last week. It gave me a reason to see Nolan, the first time in three weeks. Three weeks that quantified into a lifetime of changing perspectives and the resultant, nagging question of why did i do this?
The bus left at seven and pulled in by midnight. We sat in traffic for 45 minutes, and I read articles about the I Ching and cancer. My eyes grew dryer with every mile marker and I had a pair of glasses tucked into the backseat pocket. It was longer than I thought five hours could be, and the only way I could gauge that kind of time was San Diego to Phoenix, from San Diego to Las Vegas, from San Diego to the first gas station we stopped at the buy water and a burger on our way to El Paso for the night. All my starting points were from that Southern California town. And many of my ending points, too.
By the end of my time in California, I was no longer many things. I was no longer alone, no longer exciting, no longer young and naive and studious. No longer a law student, no longer confident, no longer the faltering idea of being someone else. I was myself and I have sacrificed for that kind of beginning, but I had to go to Dallas and see if it was all worth it. To look the wolf in the eyes at night and see if it howls the same as you howled inside. When it wasn’t so perfect, when it was a shaggy puddle of old love notes that got ripped to shreds in an old cardboard box.
We met at the station and a male prostitute asked where I was going. It was pitch-dark and silent in the city, and in the distance you saw how expansive Dallas was. We passed office buildings that still had lights on and it seemed we found ourselves in another city, another few moments of exploration. We got a hotel for the night, a little room with a queen-sized bed and a TV that was screwed into the dresser. The fridge motor ran louder than my breathing and my body, naturally nestled into Nolan’s, fell into the rhythm of his breathing.
And for two days, I felt whole. In a way I hadn’t before. Longer than the three-week span of living on my own. Longer than maybe a year or two. It was no longer a question of “How will we survive?”, but a question of when will the vast gap between us close itself? Inside you can fill barbecue joints, the Grand Canyon, and the biggest little city in the world. There is a five year age gap and the gaps in our teeth and a gap between my thighs because I’m only eating for one. There are memories I think I forgot and a tenderness in our words and fingertips that came out of the synapses of our mind, our fight or flight response, our relationship survivalism.
And we couldn’t even kiss goodbye because we’re in an unfamiliar town. We hesitated, standing at terminal five of the Dallas greyhound, my bag on my shoulder and a headphone in one year. I looked him in the eye and said, “I’ll see you soon.”