from The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon


Little bites are never enough when you love something. When you love something, you want it all. That’s how it works.

And that’s how it was for Archer. Archer didn’t want a little taste of adventure with a side of leftover discoveries. Archer wanted the whole turkey and he wanted it stuffed with enough salt and spices to turn his tastebuds into sparklers. Needless to say, it was a tall order for a boy who wore a size small blazer.p 42

I haven’t been on a plane since 2006. That December I went with a friend on our grand European adventure. We left after Christmas and stayed with a friend in Germany. After celebrating New Years with fireworks and a special meal, we made our way to Paris for a week. Our time there is etched into my brain. Each day in the city held delightful surprises. Together we saw the touristy destinations and secret secluded spots. After our time in France we boarded a train for Italy and then back to Germany via Switzerland. Those three weeks expanded my world view in a way that hasn’t happened since.


I dream about that vacation. It weaves itself like a ribbon in and out of my thoughts, the incandescent light at the edges gives off a Parisian glow. At this time of year I start to crave traveling. I mentally quiz myself on what to pack in my suitcase; creating itineraries for places I haven’t yet seen, but would like to. I think of the markets and what treasures I might discover there. Paris has seeped into my life, my way of being. There are the movies, the prints on the walls, Eiffel towers in varying sizes, the shelves of books… Obsession is a rather strong word, but perhaps adore is more apt.


I don’t know when I’ll get back, if ever. Perhaps that trip was once in a lifetime, but who knows. T might spend his Junior year abroad and I have thought about visiting him. But that will be his adventure, not mine. I hold Paris in my heart, this weekend especially. It’s hard to imagine the devastation and despair. I think of the people living there, putting aside their fears, stepping out of their doors trying to get on with the busyness of life. Pushing through the sorrow to whatever awaits on the other side. Survival at the most basic comes down to the act of putting one foot in front of the other.


I try to move forward in that way, but I often wish my life were more adventure-filled like Archer and his friends in the book that I’m reading. I agree, that when you love something you want it all. Today I’m headed up north to a sock sale. I won’t need to pack much, and I won’t need a map. Still, I’m remembering that city filled with light and wondering what it will take to get me back there. I’m thinking of those streets, the people and what it means to be a part of it.

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