Recently he’d spent four months in Cambodia on a retreat of sorts. His willingness to pursue his own direction inspired me, and I hoped some of it would rub off.
“I’m just not sure what’s next after this move,” I said.
Bill nodded, letting the words resonate before responding. He always looked slightly underfed, lean but handsome, like a beat poet with a better sense of style.
After taking a sip of wine, he scratched his chin and turned to me, “It seems like you need to go somewhere. I’m getting the sense that things don’t come together for you in Boulder. You need to go somewhere else. Where do you think you’d want to go?”
The scent of lemon and olives trailed behind a passing waiter. I rubbed my eyes and named various places I’d thought of visiting.
“India, I guess. Greece would be good. Italy, definitely.”
Bill’s face remained thoughtful but placid. From our table beside a wall of atrium windows, I noticed the restaurant’s chaotic décor, a hodge-podge of woods and metals as mismatched as the floor tiles. Plants were strewn around at random.
“How about Australia?’ I asked.
“Hmm, maybe New Zealand would be better,” Bill said, taking another sip of wine.
I offered a few more ideas and we meandered through the list as if we were perusing the restaurant menu for another entrée. Across the room, copper saucepans and dried chilies hung above a shiny white counter that looked like it belonged in an ice cream bar. Unexpectedly, the word “Poland” arrived in my mind like a giant billboard across my forehead.
“Maybe I should go to Poland,” I said. The thought had never occurred to me.
A current seemed to wash over Bill’s face. His eyes widened and quickly streamed with tears. “Yes, you need to go to Poland,” he said. “That’s exactly where you should go!”
Bill’s reaction surprised me. All I’d gotten was the word, Poland.
“You should go out and buy your ticket this afternoon, Ellen. I really mean it.”
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