Monday, February 14, 2005


I've lain awake in beds in hotel rooms all across Canada, staring up at the same ceiling, counting tiles, unable to sleep. My pint glass has left the same wet ring on a thousand different bars, in a thousand different pubs, and I've seen that same waitress smile in two official languages - neither of which I understood. I've watched Bladerunner at least a half-dozen times, in a half-dozen cities, and found that it always ends the same way. I've asked the same questions of strangers in every province, and watched the same sun disappear behind the same nondescript towers of concrete and glass. I've read Baudrillard on the grass beneath the familiarity of a tree, while pondering the same existence, asking myself the same questions, and receiving the same answers each and every time. How did I get here from there? How will I get there from here? The more one travels, the more one finds that this city merges into the next, sharing characteristics, sharing differences, until all cities become all cities. And one find it easier to settle down then.

So I wrote you a postcard from there, then another from the next place, and another from the next. I didn't send them, of course, opting instead to give them to you next time I saw you. How was I supposed to know that would be never? I look at them now, years later - some with pictures of mountains, others with lakes or oceans - and they're of places I've never been: a sandy beach, impossibly soft, a jagged mountain, inconceivably beautiful - the ocean. Images I didn't notice or ignored. Things I threw away, as casually as I did, you.

I could have been watching a sunset
Instead of the ceiling.
Swimming in the ocean
Instead of misery.
Writing a song
Instead of postcards to myself.

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