Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stateside

 
  A trip winds down and the exhaustion rolls you up. InterContinental lactic acid. The inland sea of your self you pushed away at take-off comes sloshing back and swamps you. You on you. One trying to stay afloat on the back of the other.
  The basic reason to travel. To escape yourself. And then find yourself. To run him fast or far enough thru streets he doesn't know until he's silent, uncomplaining, forgotten. 
  But then inevitably the platonic umbilical cord will snap you and him back into place. 
  And by that time he's sick and tired and scared and wants to go home. And you have to take him home. It's part of the deal. And you were just getting used to it. 
  What's the movie? The Abyss? The rescue divers breathe liquid oxygen. They go into shock at the first breath but then it's bliss. You breathe under water.
  Kind of like traveling. You breathe new air. You live in a different world where the mundane; a street sign, a light switch, the name of the ground floor, a bag of chips, every single person's voice, has magic strangeness to it.
  And then comes the scene when the diver has to surface and breathe regular air. Not so nice. Not so laden with bliss.
   It's said often in various mediocre ways-  "All travelers see what they want to see in a place, not what's truly there." Which I think is nonsense. As if there's a neutral way to see anything on this earth. Why the Hell would we even speak, the species turn grunts into phonemes if not to say to the next poor hairless ape, "oh you should see this place ...because...." Puritan bullshit always always ringing in our American ears and telling us not to listen, not to trust what's being told, what's right in front of us, you're flawed from the get go. 
  And now I'm back to my Scots-Irish island in America. Pittsburgh. And I felt for the first few days recast. My vision polished. People here, the same people I left seem to live with their teeth in this town, in their lives. They chew on it. On each other. For better and worse. And really can you have the one without the pain of the other? Truly? 
  You walk into the ring you're gonna take a punch. 
  The men blare their accents across each other in the bar, the women whatever their age with the same eyes they had at 17. We got lucky in Pittsburgh. Severe Scots came and built the place and then the Slavs and the Italians and the Greeks rebuilt it and made it worth living in. 
  And for a few days.. while I was waking up at 3:30 in the morning... forgetting where I was... which bed, which hotel, which town....the clouds here seemed lit by the land itself - which had exploded into spring green and thickness and life while I was gone. They moved across a sky bluer than I thought possible in a land locked town. 
  For a few days, the Irish changeling weather came back with me. The hourly miracles of a place that made me think this is what kids must see when they first realize they see it: a storm, a rainbow, the sun. 
  And then my frightened self arrived - those platonic others never do go by air do they- and I slept a good eight hours and I woke up at the appropriate time and remembered where and who I told myself I was. 
   
  
 
 
 

5 comments:

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  2. It's nice to go away but it's also nice to come home to those familiar sights and sounds. Glad you had a great time but glad you're back safe.

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  3. Good writing, welcome home :)

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  5. You've invited us to follow you, offering us your emotions, expressing yourself in an amazing style, with great references and metaphors, with spontaneity too... please keep on writing and keep on sharing.
    There are lots of journeys to make, even in an area you already know...
    Take good care!
    Best regards from Europe,
    with much love to you and Pittsburgh :-)

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