‘A little boy has run away from Amherst a few days ago, and when asked where he was going, he replied, Vermont or Asia.’
–Emily Dickinson, Letters 1881
We got caught in a shower on the way back. Your Tony the Tiger t-shirt was drenched. So was the navy blue crepe summer dress I had optimistically worn. We had been fooled, misled by yesterday. It was all yesterday’s fault. It had been gloriously sunny, almost summery on our walk, this time yesterday afternoon.
We had followed our well-trodden, reassuringly familiar route around the neighborhood; our feet had turned right without even asking when we stepped out the front door. They knew where to go: another right, then down the cobblestone street lined with little cafés. The pizza place you liked, the brasserie with the red and white checkered tablecloths. The Mexican place, always noisy and full. The ice cream shop, always a queue. The smell that made us crave hot crispy cones and cool swirly, creamy scoops.
We had stopped at the fountain you liked. You had splashed cold water on your hair and face, sprayed some my way. I had jumped, squeaked, and outraged, taken revenge, sprayed you back.
Right, then right again, we had come to the end of our neat little box-shaped loop. We had picked white lilacs for the table. This time yesterday. Now we were soaking wet.
We ran our walk over as the sky poured buckets over us laughingly. We laughed too; we looked ridiculous. And cold. Our jackets and umbrella hung useless and dry in our apartment that smelled of lilacs. This time yesterday’s lilacs. Today’s thunderstorm. Quick, a hot shower and tea.
This time tomorrow where will we be
On a spaceship somewhere, sailing across an empty sea
It is that time of the year and of our lives. This time last spring we were so young. Where will we be tomorrow, next week, next month, next spring, next year?
Well, this time tomorrow where will we be
This time tomorrow what will we see
I would like to be on a train somewhere along the Trans-Siberian rail, writing a novel by the window on the way from Moscow to Vladivostok. Or backpacking across Europe - we would need a big backpack – or spending a month in a yoga retreat. You would like to be in an apartment with a view, in a big city in Europe somewhere. Innsbruck maybe, near the slopes, or London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam. Somewhere we can ride our bicycles and attend gallery openings on Friday nights.
I would like there to be children. You agree. We go back and forth on the dog. A few orchids, basil, thyme, maybe a little strawberry plant. Will there be enough sun, do you think?
Will we need an umbrella wherever we are going? Will there be place for all my books? Should I take my thick red woolen scarf and that ridiculous cocktail dress I never wore?
Will we be happy? Will you still love me? Will we grow up and grow old? Will you still want to go on walks in the afternoon with me?
This time tomorrow what will we know
Will we still be here, watching an in-flight movie show
This time tomorrow it may rain or it may not. We may be in Asia or Vermont. Either suits me fine. I am not sad, or scared. Life has not disappointed us so far.
to be surprised, tried, amazed. Wherever we are going, I will take our old photographs and the camera to make new ones. You pick your favorite book, I will pick mine. Our ever-growing playlist of songs and snacks in our backpack for the road.
The guitar. Heavy but worth it. My notebook and the pen whose ink does not smear under my left hand. A pocket knife. A pocket wine bottle opener. Wine glasses? No, we will improvise. I will take that red scarf and one of your sweaters in case the nights are cold. Passports, sunglasses, sunscreen, your hand,
Asia, Vermont, tomorrow here we go.