Monday, May 22, 2006

The Distance is Quite Simply Much Too Far For Me To Row

the subway kiss, henry lichtman

"why does everyone want to go away? i like it here. i like home."
when in high school i watched little women. and didn't like any part of its boring, matriarchal madness save for this line from beth right before she dies. i thought if she had the courage to stay, she had courage enough for anyone. to stay where she had family. where had planted a rose bush in the spring and watched bugs crawls their long stems and get stuck in their bouquets of orange and red petals. where the walls remembered every line from her childhood plays and where she could tell you all the good places for making forts from blankets and beds. where every bit of it, architecture and anyone, would remind her she was home. i respected her for staying. i respected it maybe because i knew i couldn't do it. i say to myself, people leave. i leave. even jesus leaves when theres no hollywood to back scenarios as romantic as happily ever after.

jesus leaves. he was only teasing all those government people, the tin soliders with spears, the people in town with his brief comeback and reworked torah. all mended and magical he finds his friends back to seagulls and synagogues after only 3 days. "i missed you." peter fumbles through saltwater soaked teeth. toes all sticky with brown sun baked sand. fingers rubbing fish smells against his back. "you will miss me again. but i will be with you, even to the end of age." he whispers reassuredly back. "and i will think about you but it wont be the same. figurative language is never the same," he mourns under his breathe.

i leave. i went to college in north carolina. i lived in paris and taize and lots of other places very far away. i visited the west coast and imagined someday i would move out there to study theology and two summers ago i bought a car for very specific things like leaving and carrying all my things with me. i am worried it will hold everything this time. this month i tell my taperecorder and close friends. i am addicted to leaving. to that romanticized feeling i get about somewhere i won't see for a while and all those goodbyes that get wrapped in packaging tape and budweiser cartons.

people leave. my roommates go before me and i am thankful for all their magazines, still sent to this address. josh leaves. his father is a pilot and he flies for free. kevin's leaving for portland. i tell him he will love it there but ive never been and i don't know. people leave for lots of logical reasons. better weather. the bus. greener grass. love.

have so many of us gone away that theres no fixed point with bugs and rosebushes to call us home. maybe the latitude line mathmatics and geological dots we call home will turn into people soon. and we will hold each other by unfolding our maps.
*please refrence transatlanticism by death cab for cutie for more thoughts on leaving, geology, and maps.

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