The gates with the lions are gone.
Recently, it occurred to me how influential those gates had been. Each made of metal had the outline of a lion facing the other. They were green. I'm not sure whether Statue-of-Liberty green or not. But they were hardly a sight to behold. Rusting, old, creaky. At least I think creaky. I don't remember anymore. It's been nearly two decades.
I do remember standing on them, my feet fitting perfectly on the feet of one of the lions. I used to stand on the left lion, the left gate. I'm not sure why. Probably didn't give me the best view of the street. But there I was spending afternoon after afternoon under the hot tropical sun standing at the rusting lion's feet staring into the busy, noisy street. That I remember. It's hard to get the honking out of my head. I'd fold my arms and rest my chin on them. Sometimes the metal was too hot. On those days, I'd just stare. Always I'd dream.
I'd dream about being away. I'd dream about flying. I'd dream about making my way to the airport because I knew then I could fly. I'd dream about being somewhere else, anywhere else. I never told the lions. Never even whispered it. But perhaps they knew. Perhaps they too wanted to be somewhere, anywhere else.
It has been strange realizing that she, that I, never got off that gate. That she, and I, had spent two decades standing on the gate staring into a busy street dreaming of being away. Whether it was the grip of the left lion, or something else, I never got off the gate. Regardless of all the travels, of all the places I have seen, I had stayed tethered to the green decrepit metal always dreaming of being away.
Perhaps it's time to look around to flip through the moving pictures of the past and find stillness in the memories of the present. Perhaps it's time to realize the lions had let go a long time ago. Perhaps it's time I did too.