There are the travel stories you can tell everyone. The people at the bus stop, your dentist, your co-workers. You can safely tell them about how you went to Southern California and it poured every day, or how in Scotland they offer scotch as a topping for oatmeal. You can do this without fear of losing your job, or being ostracized or arrested or deported. Often times, they’re perfectly good stories. Just because something is safe for all audiences doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic (hell, look at Pixar).
But … then there are the other travel stories. The ones you can’t tell anyone. The stories that you promised you would not share with another living soul, on pain of death from the other parties involved.
These stories are almost always fantastic. They usually involve law-breaking, or some degree of public nudity or drunkeness. They are the stories that you rarely repeat, and on the rare occasion that you do, you preface it with, “Okay, fine, I’ll tell you, but if you mention this to another living soul …”
These stories are not honed and polished from years of retelling. They are uttered so rarely, that the details begin to grow fuzzy, and only in the company of your partners in crime do you remember it all.
“Oh, right, there were 3 chickens and a goose, not four chickens. My bad.”
You, no doubt, have stories like these. We all do. And lately, I’ve been amassing a lot of them. Stuff I promised to take with me to my grave. After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Or Montreal. Or New York. Or Portland. Or at the intersection of East Pine Street and Broadway in Seattle.
Given how much I divulge about my travels on the blog, you’d think being quiet on these matters would be difficult. That’d I’d be just dying to tell you all the juicy details of our crazy adventures, and that keeping my mouth shut on this topic is absolutely impossible. But then I think of the inevitable consequences (like, say, one of my blog posts popping up just in time to ruin someone’s promising political career) and suddenly the idea of keeping quiet doesn’t seem all that difficult.
Besides, it’s not like there’s any photos to document the events. Actually, more than once over the last few weeks, friends have turned to me to make sure that I wasn’t photographing anything.
“You don’t have your camera, do you? Because we will get beat up,” a nameless friend told me.
“I’m so not kidding.”
And so, not even a blurry camera-phone image exists. And I’m hit with my greatest fear: that these incidents, these I-can’t-believe-you-talked-me-into-that events might be lost to the ages, because I never documented them. And I wonder, if I jot down a few words, will that be enough? Enough to remind me of what happened, but still not enough to clue you in – not entirely, at least – to the events of the last few days and weeks?
I bet if I wrote down just a few words, maybe even a few syllables, I might get away with it.
Shirtless crazy guy,
Corner of Broadway and Pine.
Sigh. Yes, I know him.
Quick to unbutton my coat.
Buy me a drink first!
Quite impressed by her
knowledge of Sir-Mix-A-Lot.
Saw him downtown once.
I know, I know – you’re probably trying to decipher things already. Don’t bother (I have full control over your comments, remember? Mwah ha ha ha ha.) Rather than try to unravel the secrets of my haikus, why not join me on this one. I know you’ve got a travel story you never get to tell, on pain of death or deportation. Why not share a couple of words, or syllables (17, to be exact), in the comments section below about adventures of which we can’t normally speak.
I promise not to guess. But I might get inspired.