How much life will thrill into my fingertips before I am done with this world?

Traveling, like old shoes wandering behind me. Traveling, like fire catching wind in my heart. Just racing down the highway, just feeling my heart racing in its boney box. Just flying. That’s all I could ever need.

We tumbled through Pennsylvania, grey-mountained and spiny branched. Trees poking out at every drop of sky like wheel spokes…waiting to sprout green and yellow. Everything was waiting, or at the slightest urging- just beginning to pop. Pennsylvania showed its crags and quiet rock-splays; its sauntering hills and timeless farms nestled together like dreamscapes. I washed my face in iron-mineral water springing out of the ground, splashing over stones. We pushed our way onward to Pittsburgh, glowing with hot coal ash and metallic bridge bones. The city paraded around us, steel beams and frozen glass, tunnels of old brick houses squeezed together like teeth. The city spiraled around us, old wonders and new markers marking the territory this world built up. The children giggled and spun, switched on flowers and sang old memories like stories, like sounds of a place and time you have never left. We ate leftovers and Iranian take-out. Rest-stop-remnants and crumpled-up-car-chips. We ate eggs because it was Easter. We bundled up because it was Easter. And the sun had decided to take a break from the spring. We traced suburb lines and new house tiles and admired the hospitality of our 4 different hosts in 3 days. We marveled at how the children had grown. Then we got back in the car and sped our way through the last chunk of land called Pennsylvania. We tumbled through West Virginia for a brief moment, then spilled our way out into those wide, endless highways of the midwest – the sprawling, infinite road graced only by grass, corn and aching horizon.  Ohio called us down and across, spreading wider and wider that horizon. The finely molded hillsides; the small trails of cows and sheep. The midwest goes on and on. As a city approached in the distance, I remembered the faint memory of Columbus; of a boy who called that city home and of a heart that shattered like glass. I remembered being 18 and I remembered Ohio. We slid through that city at a cool 75 miles-per-hour and suddenly it was in the rear-view mirror. The road goes on. And on and on. We steamed ahead towards Dayton…laid on the ground in my Grandparents basement and listened to stories about the 30’s. Saw pictures of my great-great-great grandparents. Stoic and dark, staring out of old faded moments captured in time. Strangers and ancestors. Grandpa showed me his saws and tools and arrowheads and old found stones and trinkets. His eyes still shine clear and his voice is still full of stories. He shows me a glimmer of what that feeling of having a father you respect in your life must feel like. We all tumbled in to a booming, boisterous restaurant. Jamie trilled about the place adoringly stuffing peanuts in his mouth. There were aunts and uncles and cousins we had long since lost touch with years ago. There was Grandpa and Grandma and Will and Victoria and my little boy bounding about. I remember when my cousins were born, seeing them in their baby stages. And now they gazed, about to enter college, at my boundless boy. Life is strange like that, sometimes. Oftentimes, all the time.

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