A ticket to Hawaii is around eight hundred and fourty for a round trip.  (I wonder how much it would be for a one way. . .)  A query for a ticket to Belize is taking its time cooking.  Ah, eight hundred yet again if I go economy.  My savings account shivers in trepidation, but it needn’t.  Despite my winter blues, my cabin fever, my ubiquitous frustration with the day-to-day I’ll never get out of this damn city. The ocean is always too many states away.  My roots are too deep.  Once, there was a lonely trip taken on train tracks to reach the West coast.  There I walked dirty streets until I finally was able to bury my toes in the sand.  I sighed deep at the chill.  The water was too cold and I returned.

The ocean is a dream, a story; it’s intangible to the landlocked.  Such a yearning to float on waves, a quarter decade unsatisfied.  Four times, four times I have been to the ocean.  I’ve watched the waves roll out.  I’ve watched them roll back in.  I’ve baptized my shoes, lost trinkets to the depths, eaten tiny wild strawberries on the hills dusted with salt.  Never, though, have I immersed myself.  I’ve yet to lose myself in the horizon.   Waves too choppy, currents too strong, temperature too unpleasant have kept me from blinking salt water from my eyes.

What would I give to swim in the ocean?  Sometimes everything.  Blue waters, tropical flowers, sand stuck to my thighs? What price wouldn’t I pay?  Agh, but dreams (when they come true) exact a price.  I could raid my meager funds for an experience I’d never forget, one I could take with me when I die.  But I tremble, so fearful.  I use and excuse, I’ve no passport!  It’s intentional.  To keep me from answering that foolish call.  To keep me safe at home, in my walls, in my comfort zone.  Were I to jet off I’d have nothing, I say.  It would be everything I had to get there and back.

Yet it aches, the knowledge of the possibility.  Were I willing to take the chance, it would be mine.  It would be me with the sun in my eyes, the burn on my skin, the ocean cradling.

It’s just a desperate attempt to free myself from this city, I think.  To spread my branches under different skies.  To leave that which I’ve known, and which knows me before it is too late.

Such a coward, I cower behind closed doors and daydream, all the while knowing how my ashes will settle on this ground.

Landlocked with knees locked I’m not going anywhere.


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