The first time, ever I saw your face…
As I step out of the underground metro and slowly see the afternoon sunlight on that 9th of April, I feel incredibly aware of the moment. I deliberately let myself go into slow motion as my eyes scan for you. Left, right, straight ahead, behind me: the coast is clear, you aren’t in sight. I breathe a sigh of relief. I was afraid I’d bump into you unawares, and then all the anticipation will have just ended in anticlimax.
I start walking. I cross the street and come across cafes and restaurants to my right, and a mini garden to my left. It’s a rotunda, apparently. But now a bit of unease and impatience. Am I in the right place? Where is the crowd?
And where are you?
I thought the sun rose in your eyes…
And then with a slight sideways look to the left, I see you. Well, a bit of you. A peek of your peak, I tell myself, as the rest of your body is blocked by a museum. My heart is now at a thousand beats per minute. I start to walk ‘round the bend, ever so slowly, until you finally come into full view.
The sun does rise in your iron body.
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave…
There you are, just being you. And here I am, already… twitterpated.
Glistening droplets of water start to rest on my hair, my coat.
A man peddles his wares: five for ten euros, he says.
Crowds start gathering, all giddily exclaiming.
But none of that means anything. In this moment, there is only you and I.
And then a rainbow. No, a double rainbow!
Never mind the wind.
Never mind the cold.
I stand there mesmerized.
In the April rain.
To the dark and the endless skies, my love
I walk closer to you, the water fountains spattering their shower of playful love on me. I am the very definition of bliss, a lone itinerant lost in the romance of the moment.
As darkness falls, you start to get bathed in a million dancing lights, like fireflies fervently attracting equally-ardent mates.
To the dark and the endless skies.
And just like that, you became magic.
*With lyrics from “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” composed by Ewan MacColl
Written in the spirit of the love month. Because this is the romance that matters most to me: the romance of travel.