I am not made for distances and arm’s lengths and fleeting glimpses through windows made of wood or bytes. When I love, it is tangible and solid. When I love is also a where.
I’ve been feeling disconnected from the city I’ve lived in my whole life. Now understand this is the same as my saying I’ve been feeling distanced from my body. Or disengaged from my thoughts. I’ve been feeling the way empty air probably feels when the shell around it cracks and crumbles away. The moistness, the humidity, the pungency, the saltiness of being held and beheld – where is one and who is one without it? I don’t know.
Two things happened this month, both on whim, which is itself a foreign inclination to me but what is foreign and what is natural when one is not a being or even an existence any more? Two times, whim struck me like a doorway that hadn’t been there and suddenly appeared. Both times, I walked through it.
ONE, I saw an Instagram post by a blogger acquaintance I’d met briefly years ago, about a city walk. I just picked up the phone and dialled a stranger and asked if I could join them. And then I picked myself up and walked into a part of the city I’d never been to before. And out there, the tumult inside died away. Out in the big city, I found my quiet again.
TWO, I woke up from a medication-induced haze to a world of hate & anger. I made myself sit in the place of slowness and peace I’ve looked for all year. Then I heard that my counter-city, the one that feels most like my foe had been silenced. And I was seized by something. Rage? Worry? Solidarity? I don’t know. I just opened the door and walked out and into a crowd that flowed from the train, swelled to a throng, the sound of feet becoming voices, angry but never violent.
The first time I stood away from the crowd, realising fully the water borders that make this city an island. The second time, I dissolved into the crowd, understanding the land lines that represented power and anger.
Both times, the island and I became one. And just like that I am in love again. My city and I, we float. Always.