Secret Pop

Sep 19, 2002

"Oh, what on earth would make a man decide to do that kind of thing?"

I always liked the idea of going somewhere. It gives you a reason to sharpen your senses. You have to make lists and remember not to forget things. You have to think ahead and plan for the unexpected. You have to consider the impossible. And sometimes, you get to carry your important documents around in a phony leather billfold with disclaimers printed on the inside. That's a nice touch.

"Did it just seem like a good idea at the time?"

You get lots of free things when you travel. That's nice, too. I used to keep all those free, miniaturized, logo-branded things. For a rainy day, you know. And I used to expect that getting there would be all of the fun. No contest. Simultaneously, I always struggled with motion sickness, and travel was often a misery. My mom would have to try and sneak Dramamine into my food because the pills were so bitter, I couldn't swallow them. (Note: They're just as bitter when you hide them in the middle of a hot dog.)

"Won't the folks back home be jealous?"

But that's the peculiar part of it. Travel often caused me suffering, but I had a very short memory for it. And no amount of sickness or misery ever prevented me from wanting to go again. Children are like that. Some grown-ups, too. They can find a reason to laugh when the tears are still wet on their cheeks. Pain passes into history like ice cubes dissolving in milk. Doctors count on it. When they give a child a shot, they assure them it will only hurt for a moment. And it's not as if those children come back and hunt the doctor down in their adulthood so they can whack him on the arm with a piece of wood just to show him how it feels. They forget. He is right when he tells them it'll be over before they know it. That's how we're made.

Time to hit the trail.

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