Neither of us were terribly interested in baseball. To me it’s a playoff sport, I love fall baseball but the teams on the field got knocked out of playoff contention long ago. Regardless, we scalped some really cheap tickets to the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies game. Weather wise it’s the perfect early September Denver day for taking a leisurely stroll down to LODO after eating brunch at Snooze on Park Avenue and Larimer Street.
Our tickets were in the Rockpile, a general admission section high above center field, but we were more interested in exploring the stadium than watching the game. It didn’t take long to realize that Coors Field is a pretty nice ballpark. The Rockies are up two to nothing with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning so there isn’t much more baseball left to watch anyway. We found an area on the upper level above the home plate entrance to the ballpark that was open air and looking southwest out at the downtown Denver city skyline. It’s quite a beautiful sight so I pull out my phone to take a picture and send it to my friend back home in Phoenix.
Overlooking 20th and down Blake, we hear the organ playing the melody for the seventh inning stretch though it fades as people are starting to flood into halls of the upper concourse. We proceed to take a lap of the concourse and when we slice upstream through the river of people, surrounded by total strangers and one good friend, I realize that I’ve sampled the fruit of travel and that I now have the opportunity to strive for something more grand and sweet.
Over the crowd noise I ask Tommy “how far would you want to go?”
“Far?” Tommy inquires.
“In the world. Like how far would you go to a place you’d want to visit?”
“Don’t know. Never really thought about it.”
“Remember what I mentioned at the bar we were all at last month?”
“About going on a trip?”
“Not just a simple road trip to L.A. or Vegas, I’m thinking bigger like properly leaving the country and not just going to Rocky Point.”
“What would you say about going to the Olympics next year?”
My friend responds to my picture message. “Where are you?”
“Miles away…” I type and send.
“Where are they this time?” Tommy asks.
“How long do you want to go for?”
“A week maybe a little more.”
I hear my text message tone. Opening it to read “Damn you. That picture looks nice. Even though I got back from Europe in July, I can’t wait to visit someplace else.”
“Lucky. Where did you go again?” I respond and place my phone back into my pocket.
“We don’t have to spend the entire time in London. All those European countries are only a few hours away from one another. Maybe we can spend some time in Paris or Barcelona before ending up in London to watch an Olympic event?”
“Ya. When are they?” Tommy asks.
“Almost a year from now so we’ll have plenty of time to prepare.”
During our walk, I hear those indicatively slow ascending and descending gentle wavelengths of cheers and disappointment from a crowd watching a baseball game. The way the pitching and fielding are going, this game sounds like it’s going to be over soon.
We’ve come full circle and stand in the same place as before. I’m leaning forward with my forearms resting on the rail while clinching my hands together. Tommy is looking the opposite direction with the small of his back against the rail and his arms crossed. I notice Tommy is thinking about what I’ve just proposed.
Once again I hear my phone. “Turkey, Hungary and Romania. Are you in Colorado?”
“I’m jealous but I’ll leave the country some day. I’m determined. Yes, clever girl, I’m in Denver with a buddy. We’re just hanging out up here on an extended weekend. Taking in a baseball game on a lazy Sunday afternoon right now.” Text sent.
Staring out again at the skyline, straining my eyes from the sunlight I pause for a moment before I ask “so do you want to go? I’ll go alone if I have to but wouldn’t mind the company.”
Tommy pauses for a second to give it some thought and finally responds “I guess so.”
I pull out my phone and see I’ve received another message. “Do you have any plans to finally leave the country?”
“Well I still need to get my passport. So any international travel plans are just dreams until then.” I answer.
Placing my phone in my pocket, I turn around and deduce that the game has ended. The Rockies must have won as celebratory music is playing and people are flooding the concourse again.
“We would have to get our passports.” I mention.
While flowing along with the sea of people in these large, dim and sloping hallways, I check my phone one last time.
“Well when you do, you better tell me where you’re going. You can’t hide things from me!”
“You’ll be the first to know.” I tell her.
“Next year we’re going to Europe, Tommy. I don’t know how but I’m going to make it happen.”