Cafe Hitch-hike


The riddle will answer itself

I can’t remember the last time my heart moved like this...

Riding on the back of Coppera’s moped through the Dutch countryside and taking a hike in het bos.

Cappuccinos, Dutch apple (his) and kirschen (mine) pancakes, sitting next to each other on benches in restaurants.

His big smile. The way we opened our hearts and minds to each other. The affection that gradually was expressed to each other, he always had a very soft way. The honesty to ourselves and each other, and openness that flowed, just as it had 28 years ago that included our adult secrets, flaws, failures, and heartbreaks.

Eating ice cream under a wire with shoes tossed and dangling from last week’s hiking festival, and then the kiss that led to more and gentle caresses. People looking at us with a quiet yet delighted curiosity.

He said towards the end, “I wanted to tell you and express all of these things before you arrived... I knew you loved me. You always made me feel special. I can still feel it... You always reflected something back to me.”

“I love you,” I said as we held each other and laid next to each other this morning, “but I know you knew that.” I also told him the morning before that love has many expressions and manifestations. It’s not just expression of a want for commitment. It could be anything from a neighbor saying hello to friendship, and parenthood and just recognizing and honoring someone’s humanity.

We went back to our beginnings, our own individual ones and the one we had together. We looked back, looked at the now. There are no plans for the future except to keep in touch, be friends. I said he is welcomed to visit Florida and I can show him and even a partner around. If he’s solo, he can stay at my place, I told him with a giggle.

Sleeping next to his lean, coppery body and looking into this sleepy walnut eyes in the cool mornings (and his smile). Laughing, so much laughing!

A long embrace with some soft laughter and joking in the Nijmegen train station heading to Amsterdam Schiphol airport, with the train conductor and operator chattering nearby in their neat, blue NS uniforms. One of them, in Dutch, pointed out that it started raining first on the other side of the track, and then it started to rain when we looked from there to the other side of the sheltered track. The temperate and warm morning turned cloudy and a little windy. The temperature dropped and dampened as we sat on the bench next to the blue and yellow train.

I whispered, “thank you for being a part of my journey, both then and the one now... we don’t have to worry about anything.”

We agreed to this: we will not figure this out for a while. The riddle will answer itself when we are individually ready. It may mean different things to us. Yes, this was more than a visit.

Allman Brothers playing on my MP3 player: ‘Dreams’ and now ‘Revival.’

Did anything else happen? Let’s just say we finally got past second base, didn’t make it home, but did have a nice photo finish like at a racetrack. In a way, it was like we were 17 and innocent, and decided to leave some pieces of it that way.

downwind | upstream