May 30, 2007

anthropomorphisizing the places I've been

I stretched my hands across a broad world map that's pinned to a corkboard on the third floor of the middle school this afternoon. I wasn't tracing absent-minded lines with my fingertips, actually my hands had purpose, following latitude lines from South Korea back to Canada searching to see if I'm still connected, maybe trigger a homing beacon. Finger after finger I measured the distance in hand and skin units across the Pacific.

I discovered it's just finger-lengths to home. Except I'm not sure exactly how many. Is it seven fingers, Toronto, nine fingers, Halifax, or an unknown number pointing somewhere else? Where will go when I go 'home'?

I swept across the map, eyes invariably drawn to the cities I've lived in, loved. I thought of each one without even meaning to. Their memory is a part of my nervous system now, automated information recall on seeing the bold letters, I see little black map stars and in my brain a nanosecond's worth of the feelings I derived from there flicker.

Each city I've known intimately stands up to counted like people do.

Toronto endures like that fool-headed adolescent crush that could exalt you one minute and leave you groping in the dark the next, its lovesick neurosis already giving way to nostalgia. London, like a regal but occasionally drooling grandfather, is comforting at the same time as it is distant, and Paris is the only lover you'd cherish again if you could. Calgary is out there like a more-successful-than-you brother, living, popping out babies and still finding the time to tease, while Halifax remains the best friend.

And Moncton is my parents, literally.

I stared at the map for minutes, my eyes wandering without conclusion, eventually turning on autopilot.

I questioned cities, like people, asking whether they'd still have some part to play in my life, wondering if I'd have to infer an answer, or if one I as-yet don't know would speak up.

Then I left the map alone and decided not to get ahead of myself. There are so many places out there.

I did meet Seoul last weekend, who I think may be that one deep-cleavaged big girl with the Sears-kids'-department fashion sense in a group of friends who gets incoherent when she's drinking but loves to party. And she's only a fingernail-width away.

LOLCATS brought to you by i can has cheezburger, because I'm a nerd.


Joefilmfan said...

Just wanted to say your blog is great.

riley said...

I'm hanging with your people dude - lots of good material. thanks. I like your myspace rants too.