the only thing we knew was that it was almost 5pm in Calgary and we were hungry
I feel like I got to know my boyfriend more in the first 24 hours of traveling than I did during the prior three months of our relationship. There’s something about disorientation mixed with elation that can really cause you to let your guard down.
Driving in yesterday on the old highway passing through the high jungle hills covered in palms and other green trees and the scent of jasmine so strong that we rolled down our windows and said, “that smells like jasmine.” To the left the full moon was coming up like an orange with a lightbulb in it, and on the other side lightening pierced the sky, and suddenly something on the inside matched something on the outside, and it’s there like learning about the rainforest in third grade, before Mrs. Hodges died, and it’s something, something, something, but as soon as you pay attention it’s gone, and the hills are black and deep, and we keep on toward Hopkins in the dark.
A dead puppy in the road. I’m sorry but that’s what it was. A dead puppy in the road on the way to Sittee River.
Of course you can go to one of the big resorts on the edge of town and it’s all very nice, but not necessarily nice. Like trying to convince yourself that airplanes are less deadly than cars, it’s difficult to feel completely comfortable with the situation. But we felt comfortable enough to swim in the pool at Belizean Dreams, even though we weren’t staying there, and they felt comfortable enough to let us do this, because it was the slow season and Boris made up for it by purchasing enough pina coladas to pay for a night in the villa.
On the other hand you can sleep in a cottage on the beach through a rolling thunderstorm, and the lightening is literally ripping the thunder out of the sky and the rain threatens to sink everything in the whole world. You drive the rental car over a flooded road, back into Sittee River and there’s a giant iguana driven from the riverbank by the rising water. Someone who you last saw when you were four years old takes your party through the jungle to a waterfall where you swim. Someone is nice to you, and you watch a tourist play with a local boy, both enjoying themselves immensely. Your dad is happy.
Out to dinner in someone’s living room that doubles as a restaurant G says that he knew a guy who went around the world twice when he was 20. Everyone seems to accept this and you find yourself staring at the linoleum and thinking, who would do it twice? Did he go one way and then the other? And did it seem shorter the second time around?
Your dad’s friend who has lived in Belize for 30 years wants to sell his house and move to a hotel in St. Vincent. He tells your dad that when he lists his house for sale he’s going to include in the price the coffin that he has already built for himself. The villagers are have been using it to collect rainwater. You imagine that Kurt Vonnegut must have spent time here, or if he didn’t he should have.
A puppy could die anywhere, and happiness too has not been appropriated by any one place. You can find some as soon as you get over what you thought this place would be. Traveling is a dream, until you get there.