I wonder how tr…
I wonder how travel affects a person. How is it that the experiences that we have define who we are as people, and how they wear on our faces. I sometimes see the Parisian women, and as beautiful as they are, there is a sadness to them. A tiredness that doensn’t leave the corner of their eyes, as if their smile is stretched a little to thinly over their teeth and their limbs hang limply from their shoulders, as if the weight of the world were pressing down on them. It is a world weariness, or the likes of it.
I call it the city-lonliness. I’m not sure how it happens in a city as wonderful and magical as Paris. They sheer amounft of women who smoke over men, as they sit stand on the curb of their store inhaling a drag watching with city-lonely eyes as they expertly wield the rush of nicotine and tar. It makes them almost unapproachable and maybe this feeds into the cycle. I see it in men too, although theirs is a different type of tired as they fidget with the gold band on their fourth digit and their small children.
Beyond that I wonder how our experiences mark our faces, how is it that with every new adventure and every exhalation of air changes the world around us, the world has imperceptibly shifted with spacetime. I wonder if I will return to the United States essentially the same person as I left, or will I be brandishing new scars and stories and an aged face that is inconspicuous to me but shown clearly to those who haven’t shared the same space in month’s time. We never see how much we age until we look back at photos.
8 months is a long time, even if I tell myself that where has the last year gone, because the future is or has arrived and we’re all making names and histories for ourselves, and we are defined by our experiences. Winter blooms into spring and spring segues into summer; life has a rhythmic quality to it. Seasons change, life surges ever forward and the infants that I left next door will be walking and talking toddlers by the time I get back.
I wonder what people will see in my face when I arrive, will they notice the way I wear my clothes, or how my hair has grown? Will they see the stories behind my eyes and in the corner of my mouth of the places I’ve been that has been inked into my skin and my heart?