Come ride on trains with me, and we’ll get out of town. Sit across from me, and let’s look out the window at all the new landscapes rushing by as the sun casts a parting glow on our cheeks. Only a few more hours until we’re there. Where is ‘there’? Maybe it’s a small city where we can amble along the river and take pictures of statues we don’t recognize. Maybe it’s a college town where we can eat toasted sandwiches and watch the undergrads haul their books to class over sidewalks covered in leaves. Or maybe ‘there’ is a coastal town where it’s always too cold to swim so we stand on the sand in our jackets and watch the seagulls dipping and diving. The fog is too thick to watch where the birds go, but we imagine they go to eternity because that’s all we can see from here. We have open eyes, salt in our hair, and I just want to explore with you.
So come sit on planes with me. Watch the fluid greens and blues and whites come into focus and become lakes, fields, and houses. Feel the change in the air as we exit the sliding glass doors and step into a new world. Rome, Barcelona, Kerala, Seoul. A bus will take us into the city, and we’ll watch with our noses pressed against the window as rolling hills change into streets and avenues and promenades. Row upon row of ancient beige buildings opens its arms to us, and we’ll see more people than stars. More lights than stars. More palm trees than stars. The night — foreign and new — is waiting for us. In the early hours of the morning when we’ve finally had our fill of music, wine, and conversation with strangers we’ll come back to the sleeping hostel past curfew and pour ourselves into tiny beds and fresh sheets. We’ll sleep knowing there will be breakfast and coffee in the morning, and I just want to explore with you.
So come climb into the passenger seat with me, and let’s drive down south. We can have the wind in our hair and nothing but the highway in front of us. Let’s pause only when we’re hungry or when we’ve run out of gas. We’ll stop at diners boasting fifty cent coffee in neon letters and at gas stations overrun by weary families and truck drivers who have miles to go. We’ll stop — no, we won’t stop. We won’t stop for anything until we get to the bottom, until we’re standing at the beach with the smell of the ocean in front of us and gumbo cooking behind us. We’re outlaws, pioneers, lovers, companions, triers of new things, witnesses of god or whatever it is we think we see out there. We won’t talk, we won’t touch, we’ll just be there, and we’ll be in love, not with each other, but with the unknown, with the things we can’t see and don’t understand.
Come do this with me because I want to explore with you. I want to see new things with you, to wander alongside you with our eyes as wide as children’s and our hearts just as free. I want to walk next to you down roads we’ve never walked on before and hear words we’ve never heard spoken before. We will touch things, taste things, and it will all be new. You’ll be new, and so will I. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know you, that I’ve never met you before, but I saw you today on the street — just for a moment, just before you turned the corner — and I want to explore with you.