staring

It has not been the best of weekends. Kiddo got violently ill on the way home Thursday, requiring an impromptu pit stop along the interstate to clean her up best I could and get home asap. It was gross and pitiful and made me cry when she stared at me with her little lip quivering and said “mommy, will you take care of me?”. I stayed home with her on Friday and she steadily felt better as the weekend progressed. The Accountant then came down with a sinus infection and has been pretty miserable as well. So far I’ve dodged any sort of plague but I can’t help but feel that some sort of malady is hanging over my head just waiting to strike.

At the risk of sounding petty and selfish, I’ve felt very confined the past few days. Its nice to feel so needed but I’m suffocating. The air in the house has felt heavy and burdensome and my space violated. I would die for my family and taking care of my child, sick or not, is always my top priority but lets be honest, I’d also give up sweets for a month for one weekend of solitude in a nice hotel room. I simply cannot breathe.

A bit of respite came tonight with the timely offer of a babysitter. The Accountant and I seized the opportunity and went out for a nice dinner and a long meander through the local bookstore.  We parted ways in the bookstore as we tend to do, him to books about motorcycles and computers, me to fiction and travel.

In the travel section I just stood and stared for a while at the colorful array teasing me with the names of countries I’ll never go to, cities I only dream about. I ran an index finger along the spines of the section on Europe and recalled that trip of a lifetime that is always floating around in my head waiting to be recalled when I lapse into my frequent hobo daydreams.

Hubs and I talked about a return trip to Paris that we are planning for our 15th anniversary in a couple of years and that was nice. I realize how fortunate I am to even be discussing that as a real possibility. I cling to hope of that trip like some sort of lifeline. I think about going back there and immersing myself in a place so different from where I am, so alive and beautiful, and I catch my breath.  I remember wandering the streets of Paris at night with hubs years ago and I vividly recall the sounds of the clinking of dishes in the sidewalk cafes and the lulling cadence of conversations in French. I didn’t understand a word and it didn’t matter. It was lovely and surreal and dreamlike and I desperately want it back.

Blame it on my escapist nature I suppose but I sometimes wonder if Paris represents something bigger in my mind, something other than simply a magical City of Light. An ideal of sorts, an idyllic dream of freedom from daily routine and responsibility. I know that I often indulge in fantasies of travel. I am not here in this small southern town. I am in Rome, and then Venice. Barcelona will be next or maybe Amsterdam. It doesn’t matter. I want to explore all of it.

I want so many things. Intangible things. The freedom to simply…experience.

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