Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Bus and tram trip from the airport through Prague. An old Army barracks being renovated into a mall, a KFC. Lots of graffiti, signs–I see them and the words mean nothing.
My friend Eric will guide me, starting with a 6 am bus to Budapest. Since I haven’t been in Prague during any stretch of daylight, Budapest will be my first European city. I’m the proud owner of a gigantic bottle of sparking water, which I politely dislike. There are trees here with evergreen tops and white aspen-like trunks, Nebraska-esque roads. A sign with a Big Mac and an arrow. I spot my arm in the bus window’s reflection and this makes me smile. I keep reminding myself where I am on a map.
Once in the city we stop for coffee. The waiter is handsome; “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler plays on the radio. We slip into a museum. It’s full of pharmacy pots. A man by the castle plays the theme from “The Godfather” on his violin. No tourists are on hand to toss him change.
In St. Matthias Church, my jaw falls open.
Yes, I expect now that I have no choice but to be remarkably changed. Any day now…
–Budapest, Hungary. 2006.