The Land of Retrospect
I travel often.
I love Bangkok, London, and Tokyo,
but there exists a land, which accounts for most of my passport stamps.
8:42 a.m.– A watery entrance, by way of boat. Traveler cleaned herself up in the bathroom at the main port.
11:03 a.m.– Arrival by car, vehicle up in flames. Traveler was spouting expletives; needed temporary detainment at the border.
5:49 p.m.– Boat entrance, again. Stayed longer than the average visit. Traveler checked in one suitcase of photographs.
10:19 p.m.– Entry from the southern “Wondering Path”, by foot. Traveler utilized the spiral loops, newly constructed.
The Land of Retrospect is not typically advertised in travel brochures.
It is no secret to the rest of the world, but Retrospect
holds a very secret and specific place in every woman’s heart,
which inevitably means that we whisper about our visits to nobody but ourselves.
On my way into Retrospect—
after meetings, right before bedtime, while my heart is breaking—
I consider what it might look like to travel to The Province of Forethought.
My ticket would not likely contain unmarked checkboxes of
things I should have said but was not given the space / to nobody listened to / I did not say.
Would it? I wouldn’t know. Do you know?
What is it like to pack your bags bombastically believing that you haven’t left anything behind?
Shone in the light, the visionary airplane ticket I purchased to Forethought reveals itself to be a brand-new route back into Retrospect, through obscure jungles or reawakened cities.
Perhaps this untroubled world doesn’t exist for me,
or for the women whose pasts appear and reappear on the split-flap display boards of their minds, who start off too many of her sentences with “If I could go back…”
What does it feel like to never wish for any redos?
Or is the only other possibility to not even know that a redo should be wished for?
What does it feel like to make a mistake and have it be forgotten moments later?
I don’t want to hold permanent citizenship to Retrospect anymore,
but it is seems important to state that it wouldn’t be so wise to be trapped at the borders of Forethought either… would it, now?
I wrote these words while sitting on a bench in the park in Retrospect.
When a traveler visits The Land of Retrospect for the first time, she understands that these trips will become part of her daily life.
But then, she hopefully learns that she may also leave whenever she chooses.
On my next trip, I will remember this.