The Aching Stillness of Summer Holidays

Part Three of How it Feels to Travel for Love.

I’m glad I came to Canada to see you – riding around in the hot heat daze with the dandelion bloom drifting across cracked pavements, purple flowers and butterflies fluttering around  the trees as teenage boys mowed the lawns in the aching hot stillness of their summer holidays.

Cycling Calgary
Summer days, drifting away

The ‘almost home but not quite’ feel of Calgary should have made me homesick for Scottish summer, those dreamy few weeks of strawberries and cream that may be real or long since past. But I never felt lonely in Calgary because I could talk to you. Travelling seems part of our soul, money less so. After the music festival things quieted down, and we went back to stay at your parents’ house in the suburbs.

We were teenagers with all the freedom in the world, even if we did have to sleep in separate rooms. I slept in your big old bed from childhood, while you slept in your orange sleeping bag in the basement. We’d sleep late and eat your parents out of orange juice, bacon and brie every day. We had no curfew and nothing important to do; all the time in the world to just lay in the grass and read beautiful books.

Feet up Calgary Tower
Passing the time at Calgary Tower

We cycled around in the warm evenings, went to see a discounted comedy at the film house down the road, then bought beer and cigars and smoked them in the intimate dark of Bubbling Creek, a fountain in a residential park where you used to get drunk with your friends when you were fifteen. We would stay there for hours, letting our secrets float into the still summer air. I loved it there.

Remember at that DJ set at Sled, the pretty girl with the wild hair and no bra beneath her t-shirt who kept trying to dance with you? I’m sure you do, you good-looking bastard you, dancing on stage with your ‘ironic’ tie-dye tee wrapped around your head. Thank god you play magic cards with your old friends once a week, make friends with everyone and watch Star Trek on repeat. It makes you bearable, at least.

Tomorrow the trip heads to Canada’s Badlands, full of desert dust and towering hoodoos.

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