traveling without moving

You can radiate everything you are...

A barbeque and BP station, somewhere halfway through Pennsylvania - which we hate, btw. No... well, no nothing. No coffeeshops, no clean bathrooms, no rest stops, just boring as hell. Ohio, at least, had big shiny pretty rest stops about every 30 or so miles, and almost every single one of them had a Starbucks. Now, I know that sounds all bratty and whatever, but when you have to go, you have to go - and when you need caffeine, you need caffeine!!! It does hinder some of the adventurousness, but when I'm all kinds of mad tired I'll take the convenience factor for sure.

Anyway, the barbeque and BP, all Alfred Hitchcock bathroom. I realized early on in the trip that Stacey is down with the no-talking-during-writing thing, which we didn't even have to... um... talk about. It just sort of happened.

Leaving Raf this morning was so hard. 6 a.m. in the cars parked on Orange Street, I walked up and he had been crying. He handed me a card I had found (from him) and thrown angrily into one of his boxes at the apartment along with his best most broken-in Red Sox hat. It might sound strange, but it helped me know that this whole thing was actually real to him. I think the acting out is just part of his process, just like a bunch of shit is part of mine. We stood like a picture through somebody's front window as the rain washed us clean, pouring over all of our tragedies, tangling up with our tears, so desperately clutching at each other like some sort of sad, sad, movie script goodbye. The sky split open and he watched as I drove away, until I couldn't see him watching anymore.

Around 12:30 we were halfway through Pennsylvania. Stacey took the wheel and I painted my toes on the dashboard. I feel all divine and luminous and amazing. And I know with everything that I am that I have to go, for me, and when I think about Raf I know down in my heart that for some reason we just can't seem to grow together. So in love, so caught up in bad timing, so hopeful for the first time in so, so long.

***

The end of official traveling day one finds us at a Quality Inn in South Bend, Indiana. I've been told we're near some mecca of all things college football, all Rudy (and "Touchdown Pete" or something?) and so if we aren't too far away I may go and take some pictures in the morning before we leave. Having had this information prior to coming in, I had some sort of assumption... or maybe an expectation, really, of something more like Cambridge - but out here seems sparse, a little poor, a little dirty, and a little angry. As Stacey put it today, there ain't nothin but nothin' out here in these parts. Maybe I am just used to urban / suburban sprawl and overcongestion. I'm not sure which it is.

The walls are thin here, you can hear people in the halls and all over the place. Children complaining, banging doors, blaring television sets.

Tomorrow I think will be a fine day to send postcards.

I am very tired, and while we have done over 700 miles, I can't help but feel that it was sort of an anti-climactic day, but so much has happened, and everything has changed.

I do miss Raf, the idea of Raf, I miss who he is when he's not in his own way. The last thing I said before I left was that I hoped he didn't keep listening to his old "tapes" to find out who he was, and that he was more than all of that junk that was all piled up inside. Part of me wishes we had a way to make it work, and all of me knows we don't have enough tools between us to do that - it's just so sad. True, and I'm right where I am supposed to be - but still, so sad.

Off to burn cds and prepare for tomorrow - for some reason the internet seems kind of weak and I'm having a problem uploading pics - only a few, but they're coming nonetheless.

vvb