I arrive at Kennedy Airport, untidy and disheveled as always, with my burgundy pouch strapped to my back and my flowered carry-on. No baggage to claim.
He is waiting for me at the gate. I feel him in my bones as I go past greetings to pilot, copilot and crew. My sweaty hands and trembling legs obey the automatic functions of balancing weight on either shoulder, avoiding collisions with anonymous faces and walking briskly so as to emerge from the claustrophobic tunnel as soon as possible. Then I see a light at the end and all of a sudden I am faced with the recurrent scenery of pale colored walls, grey cushioned chairs and easy-listening rhythms.
But this time is different. Although the artificial landscape, turbines smell and loudspeaker multilingual voice is the same, his weathered face is a new addition to the view. Neither the overweight peach toned expectant woman nor the self-confident gold-clad Puerto Rican macho can realize how awaited and dangerous is our welcoming kiss and firm embrace. How old he looks. How tired. I must look the same.
The next moment we are opening the door of a creamy hotel room – the taxi trip not worth recalling. We were probably too busy with our own thoughts, weighing the pros and cons of our daring decision, hoping it will be worthwhile.
I sit in the bed and look out of the window. Snow cops fall over the varied foliage of Central Park . I’d never seen the snow with him, I think. And all the while he gazes at me from the door frame, smiling.
I turn as his stare starts to burn my woolen coat. Our eyes meet and say to each other: “We’ve made it, after all.”
He walks towards me.
Never mind what comes later.
Never mind the cost.
Never mind the regrets.
Let’s just make the most out of this wild adventure.
Published by The Tonopah Review, 2009