You arrive to palm trees. Heat leaks into your nostrils, warms the blood of your fingertips, and nauseates your lungs. Are you dizzy from the sun? The cloudless skies? The empty stomach? All.
Fatigued and relieved to finally be there, you let out a sigh, darting your eyes around with intent. Still uneasy, you force away your doubt, zipper it up in your pouch, stuff it in your luggage, or hide it underneath your last-minute pharmacy items. Don’t worry – your fear is safe. They’re not after it – it has no value. What they want are those unrecognizable strips of paper in your back pocket.
What is there to do? What else? Wait. Wait there and smile dumbly.
Smile. You’ve reached paradise! Paradise, like all the rest, slightly familiar with her blue skies and open palms, thick vegetation and pastel palettes decorously propped on rhythmic white shores. That beauty is looking at you, deadpan. She’s kissing your mouth with golden lips.
And she’s never seemed so far away.
For behind you, you forgot to notice the sad eyes, the dirtied hands of your cab driver, the treacherous sweat of mothers, the monotone voices of unenthused locals, philandering felines and mangy mutts, that endless procession of flies, half-hearted dancing school children, that dozing family up in their branched home, those tanned workers constructing (for better?) for better.
But you didn’t see it, remember? You were too busy smiling and enjoying. Enjoying the attention of the curious infants, the accommodating taxi man, the pregnant woman strolling along, the helpful townspeople, the carefree confidence of wandering pets, the silent light of fireflies, the delighted spinning of young children, the swaying boy relaxing in his hammock, the people conserving their beautiful Lady Paradise.
And nothing matters now and nothing will matter tomorrow. Truths and fantasies lie in bed together, seeing one another in twisted rays of light.