I Am Here With You
~December 27th, 2014~
Amed, Bali, Indonesia
Wake to this view, alone in a big bed, save for the companionship of my prized possessions, a habit I’ve formed while traveling, one which reminds me of Espy and Julia Wertz. Toothpaste on my chest, for zits, and that reminds me of Melissa, and Whitney.
In the bathroom there’s a cockroach, legs up, rocking gently side to side. A little yogi. I put a glass over him, for lack of a better plan.
* * *
A rocky run on the beach, feet slipping on fist-sized stones, as the locals light incense, make their offerings to the gods. Today, in their finest: bright lace-trimmed blouses for the women, crisp white coats and head-wraps for the men. Saris for all. Today is a holiday in Bali.
Stones give way to rocks and boulders, and I find myself scrambling among them, scaring the natural inhabitants. Brown crabs scurry, suspicious, crawling sideways into dark cracks. Cockroaches I can’t even see make a noise like static electricity as they skitter before my footfalls. Slick, dark salamanders, smaller than my palms, rush like liquid, in droves, out of my way, leaping with delicate plinks into the water.
Then there are the snails, shining tawny half-spheres–part beetle, part barnacle–which literally tumble in my wake, detaching themselves and clattering like marbles to the rocks below.
Everything moves away from me.
I move away, too. Today is Eric’s birthday, turning 30 on the other side of the globe, and all I could offer were words of praise and love from afar. Crawling on the rocks I think of him: the time we went to Lake Powell, became friends, ran on the redrock and talked with ease. He’d like this, here and now.
* * *
A photo on Facebook of Sister Natalie and Perry, taken by Espy, out to eat, laughing. Silly. I miss them all, and for a moment I feel the tug, the want, pulling me back home.
But then it releases, a sigh, a breath of air. I do not wish I was there.
I’m happy to be just exactly where I am, happy to be traveling alone. Happy for the friends and family I can return to any time, and in the meantime I carry them with me, remembering, their names and faces cycling like a mantra through my mind, chanted in my heart (Espy, Melissa, Whitney, Eric, Natalie, Perry…)
So I am never really alone
Because also there’s that stranded roach, trapped in glass, waiting for me back at my room.