Minneapolis, MN – September 29, 2012
The room burst with sound. Couples squeezed on the dance floor. The band played big and loud. Every blast of horn and beat of drum yelled at my feet to move.
I danced and danced. Danced until my feet ached and my skin blistered. Danced until it was hard to find a new person to ask. Danced until I forgot about the river, the cold nights, the shrinking days. Danced because tomorrow’s problems are tomorrow’s problems. Danced because I didn’t know when I could dance again.
For three minutes at a time, the world fell away and there was nothing but the person in front of me, spinning, smiling, laughing.
Long after midnight, after the band stopped and I walked back into Joe’s apartment near the river, I stared at the boat sitting in the living room.
It looked huge and out-of-place. Unpacked gear lay on top of it. Paddles leaned against one wall. It looked like a bomb had gone off in the hull and sent equipment in all directions.
But I knew where each piece fit.
I opened the rear hatch and began putting equipment in, one piece at a time, sliding each into its spot. Morning was coming, morning when I would leave Minneapolis, morning when the world would fall away and there would be nothing but me and the river.