Even the Lives We Hadn't Lived

We lived together in Europe. We had an apartment in Florence near the train station above a Chianti store on a block full of drug dealers and prostitutes. When we left, one of us gave one of the  prostitutes one of our winter coat but I can no longer remember which one of us it was. We traveled to Amsterdam together and Budapest and Prague and Vienna and Copenhagen. We rode on trains and buses and ferries and cabs. We saw so many men masturbating on different forms of public transportation  we made a game of connect the dots on our map. We swore if you traced our footsteps you would draw the outline of God's face. We drank beer in bars and ran out on tabs. We bought fresh olives and mozzarella and tomatoes at the market and brewed our own espresso  until I melded the rubber of the pot too far into the metal. We saw castles and operas and villas, we befriended counts and wanderers and musicians and mafia men. We got drunk and drank coffee and slept with strangers but in the end fell in love with each other. We hung our drawings on the walls and invited philosophy professors- old men-  for wine. When the couch the they were sitting on that we'd made out of crates from the alley and blankets from the bed collapsed beneath them, they kept talking. We prayed in our own way and listened to so much music that every day had a soundtrack, every night its own chorus. We were so alive and so present and so hungry our bodies vibrated at all times, nonstop, for language, for sex, for food, for wine and cigarettes and adventure. We wrote all the time and painted and cried and talked until we knew every detail about even the lives we hadn't lived. She was my Italy Girlfriend, my Czechoslovakia Bride, my Little Mermaid, my Budapest Babe. Of course we broke each other's hearts eventually. Of course we did. 

Valley HaggardComment