It was cold as I stepped off the airplane in that small foreign airport, so many miles from home and not a plan, save for you.
You were an adventure, insight into a foreign world with a warm couch to sleep on. A world I had spent so many years learning about.. planning for.
An adventure with a heart wide open and arms firmly closed, cobblestone streets ancestors had walked upon and a quiet corner of a once booming shipping port.
There was a long bus ride with anxious questions as friends long been separated chatted, and the grand tour through old town with a heavy bag and just a little bit of complaining.
Awaiting at the airport pacing back and forth, I wondered where she was. My phone was expired, no money in my pockets, not even an address to go to.
Biezpiens is a traditional dish. It was necessary, so was the fresh selection of strawberries at the old farmers market. And a little slice of chocolate, traditional chocolate.
There was a dog; a big brown Lab/Sharpei mix with big ears and bigger paws. She was an anxious dog, the kind that pulls at the leash every step of the way. Leaves, sticks, strange smells, other dogs…
Twice a day I’d walk her through the retired graveyard, searching every gravestone for recognizable names. Never found any.
Ever step I felt like I could see horses pulling buggies, old top hats and pointed mustaches. The signs of old Baltic Ritterschaft nobility.
I’d find new paths every day I’d walk the city streets. New buildings that were old buildings, new corners of the city that were old corners of the city. I’d learned cobblestones made quite a racket when car tires roll over them.
I left there in love. In love with a city, in love with a way of life. In love with a style. In love with a woman who did not want to love me.
I left there with a hug from her and a lick from the dog for a long full bus ride. The whole way to the foreign airport early that morning I stood with my bags about my shoulders, fighting the woes of leaving my heart behind and the dizziness of hardly a breakfast in my belly.
Of course the only thing I could think of was the laughing while smiling.