We hitchhiked from Madrid, as we had done many times that year. At the border with Portugal she realized her passport was still in the drawer at home. There were no hotels, only rooms in private homes. Three Guardia Civil questioned us casually when we left the bodega. It was unusual to see foreigners in this village. We walked out of town along the narrow highway. The orchard in the evening light stretched away up a gentle slope, colors fading out to silhouettes, offering a place for picnic supper: wine, cured ham, bread, cheese. The year of travels, our friends, mishaps, mistakes, old times, these were the stories all evening.
At dawn we awoke in slanted sunlight covered in flowers. The ground as far as we could see around us was a carpet of petals. The trees in unison all dropped their blooms during the night and had moved on to the next stage of their cycle. We departed from the orchard. leaving the site just as we had found it, and walked to the station. A train for Madrid came through later that morning and we were on it. We had gone as far as we could, individually and together, and were being pulled back toward the old paths, interrupted by this year. The momentum of the return trip, ida y vuelta, however many delays or detours, was now irreversible. The border of Portugal (it so happened), the missing passport, the Guardia Civil, an olive orchard with picnic, the May night outside, and most of all the blanket of flowers. The decision did not take specific shape immediately. Only later did I realize that border was the edge of living. There was a choice made: to understand. I wanted to understand. What I understand now is that you cannot pick up where you left off. The sages are not wise, that is what is understood, even if they possess knowledge. What is the feeling? It is in the figure constellated here somewhere. The Superfund site in me.