Travelling can feel like badly planned polygamy. It is easy to fall in love many times with abandon, to draw many things and many places to your heart.
I find my hands are often full.
The flood of feeling can leave me overwhelmed, looking back down the rolling road trying to untangle a knot of memories, moments, passings. I try to do justice to each love, each leg of the journey, to let it be something a little different, worth treasuring separately.
Somewhere between all the experiences and impressions of same same and different, and old and new, is something unique, something mine to hold and keep.
Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua – the countries have filled and fleshed out from words on a map, from chapters in a book to little lifetimes spent, another voyage, another face. And now I have another lover.
Nicaragua has been easy to fall for. It had me at hello with night time strolls through safer streets, old-new friends found again and held breezy with small town smiles.
It has greeted me with sweet words on Masaya’s market stalls; the gap-toothed ladies who ask me to ask and offer stuffed frogs caught in kinky coitus, with ‘mi corizon’ and ‘mi amor’. In the Aladdin den of alleys, hung high and low with stripey hammocks, multi-coloured mayhems have made me welcome, being lost, and I have been glad.
The cities do not roll out their streets for me. They do not bother to sell souvenirs or plump the menus with treats to tempt my tongue. They just are.
Airy, sticky, sweet and seething; they are what they are without waiting for my judgement.
Their indifference is educational. I like them better for not minding me much.
And of course I know that this is just another dream between here and there, a fleeting love, a fling that will end.
Yet we are equals in this affair, both flirting, but also holding something back, a little aloof. We both look and look away, sincerely two-faced in our admiration.
The power is not always mine and that sometimes irritates.
I wonder perhaps whether I am not the dreamer but the dreamt, tied tight and bound to buses, taxis, roads by the logic of someone else’s sleep, pulled on hot and breathless by their passion.
I am not sure my reality could be more real than this. I am not sure I have more to offer.