I've taken rickety bus trips through the terraced fields of Southern China fearing for my life at every turn, I've taken the Greyhound all over Canada, once barely surviving a 4-day bus marathon from Montreal to Vancouver Island, I've traveled across the world on planes and trains and ferries and boats and even ended up sitting on a trucker's lap once as he let me, the deeply-stoned hitchhiker, steer his 18-wheeler down the highway towards Calgary. Some of these adventures were terrifying, some boring, some awe-inspiring...none of them came close to the pure bliss I felt curled up against Juan for 12 hours as we traveled halfway across Cuba.
|See ya later striped building in Camaguey!!!|
Yes, even in the midst of these simple, beautiful moments, I was still looking for a way out. I still believed that there was no future for us, that at the end of this trip I'd say goodbye and mean it. Every sweet word he said, every soft touch, every tender moment was tinged with both sadness and intensity....little memento moris peeking up behind everything whispering 'This will end this will end this will end'. I tried to block out their voices, enjoy the moment, not worry about the future but in every pause I'd hear a door slowly creaking shut.
|'Alas poor Juan I knew him well'...picture it with orange hair and a sunburn and you've got me|
As we finished our food and drinks the driver called out to those of us still lingering around outside the bus. We all hurried back on and found our seats. I don't know what the driver had eaten at that road-stop but his mood was just as good as mine as we drove off. He cranked the reggaeton music as loud as it would go and got on the loud-speaker. Juan interpreted for me but even without knowing Spanish I understood the gist of what he was saying...
'Hey sleepyheads, why aren't you drinking? Why aren't you dancing? We're on the road to Havana...let's have fun!!!'
I decided that bus-driver was right. I pushed my worries down as far as they could go, hugged Juan close and told him that I loved him. Sure everything in the world has to end at some point...but not on that bus and not on that night.