“Welcome everyone to Travelers Anonymous. It looks like we have a new member. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?” she smiles warmly, as though I need an invitation. No, lady, I've been practicing.
“Hi, um," I begin, "Well, I’ve got that itch again. That one that starts in my toes, to the arches of my narrow feet. Through my spine it crawls, friendly but certain, to the back of my neck where it turns my head to the sky. Run, it whispers, kissing my ear lobe. This itch is more than a mood, it is in my muscles and bones, it speaks in the way I carry my body in the way I walk and dance and listen and... My itch, my teacher.
“There is no reason for me to be unhappy or bored with my life in Connecticut. I love my job, the community I work in, my coworkers, and the city within which I live. It is by chance I ended up here and I am daily coming to understand why I am here at this time. I am grateful everyday for what this decision has taught me. Or maybe I’m not. Maybe I just go through the motions of loving work and time with new friends while I occasionally make the time to connect with all of those I left behind, again. Maybe the way I look at maps and long for the summer and the end of responsibility is more than just casual, a little more covetous than I care to admit. Or it could be in the way I look at pictures from the past 2 years spent abroad, telling myself it is to do some of that Photoshop work I put off while I was rocking and rolling in novelty and freedom. These recent habits hurt so good. I can only call this the cabin fever of winter for so long before it starts to creep into my normalcy; I’m in line at the grocery store and, triggered, my mind takes me swiftly and comfortingly back to that Time with that Person and that Story... no less that 5,000 miles away. Or when use my left hand and feel the visceral discomfort of committing such a heinous taboo. But wait, it is not taboo, and the trigger in the grocery store is really just organic broccoli and I’m laughing with only myself because no one else showed up to this private joke.
“Sometimes I lie awake and think of all the adventures out there. All the grand things I am bold enough to accomplish that other people are afraid of; I only want it if it is difficult, dirty, and at least 5 people tell me it is dangerous. On these sleepless nights, I wonder where I will be in exactly one year and I am tickled with fantasy, I’ll be having the fun some people can’t even imagine. Well, I think first I’m I’d like to... Oh, sorry, I guess I got carried away...Hi, my name is Blake and I am a traveler living in the past.”
“Hiiii, Blaaaake,” the whole room stammers at me in unison after the customary half-a-beat pause.