Tuesday August 16, 2016
What a roller coaster of a couple days…
Hearts are wild creatures, thats why our ribs are cages.
I am having difficulty finding places to stay.. it seems the well has dried up.. Of all those couchsurfing requests I sent out, only a handful of them replied and only to decline, saying they were busy or out of town or already hosting..
So I shot up north to visit some old friends from the hostel… I was hesitant.. too many feelings would be involved.. and I was already anxious and sad that no one was responding to my couchsurfing…
As I said, constantly torn between “if its meant to be, it’ll be” and “if you want it, go and get it”
I just feel deflated.
I got to Laufen. My friend, Felix, who I knew from my hostel days in San Diego picked me up, and we caught up quickly on all the things that happened since.. I had spent 2 months with him and three months with his best friend, Max, when they came down to San Diego. I had been toying with the idea of seeing his best friend… I knew it wouldn’t be the same.. he had a gf..we barely exchanged but a few brief (on his side) texts since he left.. but his friend was keen on me coming down and I was keen on seeing the little place that they lived that I had heard so much about.
His apartment was beautiful, modern, super clean, chic, white, simple, elegant, spacious… very European.. no clutter.. fancy things..
His roommates were very nice.. very sweet..
Felix decided to take me to the river.
I recalled them telling me stories of their lazy summers jumping in the river..
We pulled up at a house.. I was suddenly aware of my heartbeat.. thumbing a little too loud inside my chest…
I remembered this house.. had showed me this on Google images one night back in San Diego when we were laying around, fighting sleep, passing time telling each other stories… I asked him to show me his world.. and he wove beautiful stories of times in this house.. the surrounding area.. the place where they practiced their band.. their school.. everything.. I knew it all already..
I asked him what we were doing, and Felix hopped out of the car, saying we were going to get Max and bring him to the lake.
I wasn’t prepared. I looked like shit. My heart wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. I sent a silent prayer to whoever and anyone that maybe he wasn’t home.
We walked up the steps to the big house he showed me that day long ago… they looked the same as the pictures.. some being taken over by the grass surrounding… and the garden.. the terrace where he said they would jam on summer evenings..
I was getting nervous. Anxious. Scared. How was I supposed to feel? I have no idea. We had shared so much and got so close and then nothing.He left. Barely heard from him again. And here I was, ascending the curved staircase he had talked about so much when he dreamed out loud of going home… I knew that to the right was their smoking room.. to the left was his room..
“Come on Penny! I hear his voice!” I heard Felix impatiently called to me from the top of the stairs… I realized I was taking these steps extremely slow..
As I finally reached the top of the stairs, I saw him, the world around me disappeared. The floor below me rushed away. My heart dropped. The air in my lungs dissapeared. All the feelings… the times we shared.. the nights.. the days.. the laughter.. the tears.. the swims int the ocean.. the car rides.. Our trip to Joshua tree.. Sunsets at sunset cliffs… The pizza place they loved so much in San Diego.. Our trip to Grand Canyon when it snowed… Burger land.. Halloween…how he taught me guitar.. taught me to skateboard.. taught me many things that cannot be fathomed into words.. our whole 3.5 months of slowly getting closer and then suddenly its like we fell off a beautiful cliff into a deep, pure connection.. hit me like a ton of bricks. His smile was the same. His hair flopped around the same way. Tall and strong as ever.
I hugged him and quickly pulled away.
My heart was bursting with happy and confusion and devastation.
His voice. His laugh. Everything. Perfect.
So we picked up Max and his roomate and continued on.
I remember many, many days traveling with them in California. Felix driving my car, because I hate driving. Max and I curled up in the backseat.. him playing with my hair while I rested my head on his lap.. he was a good cuddler.. he liked to be touched.. I needed that.. The one time I was in front was when me, Felix, Max, Aubrey and I went to Joshua tree at the end of their first 2 weeks in California, both of us sneaking glances at each other in the overhead mirror between the front seats. By the time we were driving home. I was in the backseat with him and pretty much never left.
This time, Felix was driving but I was sitting passenger and Max and his friend were in back. I was glad Max was right behind me. It caused an explosion in my heart when I saw him.
We got to the spot, walked out and through all the bushes.. I, as usual, got distracted by the spider webs and the blackberries and the stinging nettle and the different spots on the river that looked absolutely stunning..
We found a rope swing. We drank some beers. Felix and I played in the water, Max and his friend stayed on the riverbank.
We barely exchanged a few words. I wanted to say so much. I could put nothing into a comprehensible sentence. It hurt to look at him.
I felt like a blender had gone off in my heart and soul.
We went for Ice cream after at Felix’s girlfriends workplace. It was delicious. Some of the most delicious ice cream I had ever tasted. I relished every bite.
The three boys began talking in Swiss German.
I have become used to this in my travels, being the only one that doesn’t speak another language. Its difficult not to feel left out or rejected after awhile.
Before too long, I could see them look at me off and on in their conversations. The tone was tense. Max was shaking his head no.
I pushed away the remains of my ice cream. Suddenly it tasted rotten.
I knew Felix had band practice that night and I was 100% sure he was asking if he could pass me on to Max while he was gone. And of course, Max said no.
It has been a trend these days.
I found it difficult. All these rejections on couchsurfing. Plans to go this way and that falling through. I thought I had it covered. I sent out about 30 different messages to all areas of Europe.. This lost feeling was a familiar, though upsetting one. The feeling of being unwanted. Literally, unwanted.
I was breaking. I excused myself from the table to go to the restroom to collect myself and give myself a pep talk of sorts.
I returned, Max gave me one of his perfect smiles. I could manage a half smile before I had to turn away.
We dropped him off. My heart sunk even further when he mentioned quite clearly, “My girl is coming over to lay with me”
I had gone numb by this time.. I simply smiled and gave him a quick hug and hopped back in the car..
Felix dropped me off at his place and although my mind and heart were far away for the most part, his roommate did an excellent job of keeping me distracted and served me some delicious drinks and showed me some Swiss German music… He was absolutely the sweetest thing and just what I needed right then.
Felix and his gf came and joined us in our drinking and laughing. They were perfect to me. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
The next day, Felix and his gf and I met with another friend and we floated down the river.. It was like a lazy river at the water parks but in real life! Floating down with just an inflatable, waterroof bag and the charming city on either side..
And then the gypsy camp where we had a much needed beer and I got to explore the intricacies of the street art and random structures and intriguing art.
Then Felix had another band practice. This band was with Max. Max had told me all about these bad practices. Described the old industrial building outside of the city. How their room was up on the 4th floor and how they were in 2 different rooms before they got the big one on the end. I felt like I knew it already.
I got to sit up on the loft thing that was created above the door so I had a perfect view of all 5 of them jamming out. I had dreamed of this moment. To be able to see them play live. I remember our talks late at night. The promises he made of if I ever came to his town. Of course, things changed. 9 months is a long time.
It was surreal.
They played Ghostbusters and Santana and other the songs I had heard about. I couldn’t stop smiling. To keep myself busy so I wasn’t just staring, I brought some paint and started painting scenes of oceans and the moon and rainbows on my legs. I didn’t want to catch his eye in case he looked up here. But I was happy. I LOVE live music and I pretended that it was a concert just for me 🙂
After, on our way home, I was defeated. Tired, sleepy, my heart and soul were drained. I wanted to sleep and then get on to my next destination.
Sweet, sweet Felix. He did so good the two days to make me feel welcome. I am sure he was not aware of all that was going on inside of me, but I am sure he caught on that I was quieter than the Penny he knew back in San Diego. I love that kid with all my heart and soul and owe him so much for all he did 🙂 I did truly have a wonderful time on the river and drinking and chatting with his roommates and the gypsy camp and
The hardest part is over.
I wish I would have gotten to talk to Max. Just him and I. Even for just a little bit. There are things I wanted to say. Feelings I wanted to convey. Things I wanted to thank him for.
But, it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t have the time or courage to try to sit with just him and me. But its over. I saw him. And it certainly didn’t go as I wanted it to, but it happened.
Never before have I felt so ugly. So fat. So gross. So blah. My mind was fucking with me. Or was it? Was I really that gross? All of their friends know me. I am sure. They have heard stories of how Max flew back to San Deigo after being in Hawaii. That ugly voice took over, grasping my all of my thoughts and turning them icy, “I bet they think, “THIS is who he spent his time in San Deigo with? What the fuck? Some crazy, ugly, fat American girl?”
Oh the shitty things my mind tried to make me believe. Scrutinizing myself at every turn, only to be disappointed and disheartened.
Now it is today. the day I leave.. STILL no place to sleep. Tonight. Tomorrow.
I booked a BlahBlah car to Lugano.. a beautiful city on a lake near some mountains.. Still no response on couchsurfing. The hotels are too expensive. The hostels are booked.
So it looks like I might be spending tonight sleeping down by the beauty of the lake with a heavy heart and hopes and dreams that the upcoming days will bring peace and happy…
It’s crazy how, with this trip, eyes things go well, everything goes well, the universe conspires to create perfection. And when things start down downhill, everything goes, rolling and picking up prickly bits on the way. News from friends back home too. Nothing’s quite working out anywhere.
I think I will allow myself a real breakdown tonight, alone, under the stars, so far away from anyone and anything I know, in a most gorgeous part of the world.. Life is beautiful, but it is also difficult. I am wary, yet excited of what adventures await..
From Lugano, I will figure out how to get to Venice… or Florence.. or Sicily…?
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”