her cardboard read "TRAVELING need spare change."
and i got a flash forward vision of myself only i'm in albuquerque or firenze. those american freeway offramps selling flowers holding signs; the tourist crowded market square and the smell of italian ham and sitting against a wall with erin or tobin or shawn or amy or one of those. and we've dug in the dumpster and put our change together to buy a large marker, shivering colder in the american purple sky. taking turns sleeping on the sidewalk of a tiny european street in the heat of summer, playing harmonica til dawn and the tip of a hat, currency from five different nations gathering on our blanket where i sell my jewelry and offer to write love letters for a cost. i rip out bits of my journal, pieces of sentence and with pretty edges, sell them. we speak in gnarled accents to americans who might pay for us to get to siena or paris or carson city or just the border of tennessee, fare to cross a bridge to the other side of the bay where our friends are waiting. scarves are pulled tight, knotted, over damp and dirty hair, dark dark eyes and weathered smile lines are the marks of a traveler. tired but not weary. poor but not needing. we move forward or we stay for awhile, neither matters much. stop for 5cent coffee, overnight sleeping bag desert sky side of the road bus stop route 66 french train hard back chair passport check ticket check and we roll into the sunset finding home.