Astrologists tell me that I am an escapist but I have no idea what I’m running away from. Myself, perhaps. Distracting myself with coach rides and airport terminals and train conductors who speak in foreign tongue. On the most part, my summer is rain and coffee and cigarettes, running with newspapers and bags and regretting why I thought it was a good idea to leave that umbrella at home, playing hopscotch with puddles and dodging others who are dodging the rain too. Hotel rooms, Polo and girls with voices pitched too high screeching ‘D.F.T.B.A.’ in my face. Not that I ever forget, of course.

And now this trip. Susanna accompanies me on my travels, convincing myself that what I am doing is self-productive and a necessity to remain interesting, complex. Internal self-modification. Expensive. Or convincing others, parents. Self-assured. Proud. Be proud. Is it egotistical and self-flattering to think that our own lives are proclaimed to be busy? Chaos correlates with interest, less complication correlates with boring. We tell others that we don’t want complication in our lives but with no drama, I’m restless.

I’m like you. I want to turn the sound off. I want to be alone with things that don’t pay.

I stay in hostels for the first time. I like them. I love them, even. I am a hostel lover, perhaps. I like the word ‘lover’. Lover. It’s superior to ‘partner’ and it has endless connotations. It’s warm and fun and almost always honest. Partner equals one of two but you can have endless lovers… hostels… This trip I stay in three. And each day has been a winding road and a new destination and an added ounce of self-discovery, making observations about my body that I have rehearsed a thousand times before.

We lie together like this, entwined in this much too small bed, until the pastels on the wall become icy shades of blue. Your gaze falls heavy and out of focus, your breathing reduced to an occasional auditory escape from your lips, subconsciously fighting to remind me that I am not alone. These are the only times I do not fear the shadows. With the dark comes the dead and the still, the world motionless save for the beating of our hearts and the rush of the blood through our veins. Only your arms and this blanket keeping the cold of the night at bay, and the broken hearts of years past safely out of reach.