Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The City Has Changed

"The City had changed since Tron had last been there."
pg. 103

It's true what they say: you can't go home again. You travel for miles, hundreds, thousands of miles, propping your head against the vibrating side of the airplane, shivering in the recirculating air, stomach rumbling ("Chicken or Fish?") with every jerk and jolt... you almost miss the bus but you catch it, sitting cramped with sore knees, reading crappy magazines ("Angelina & Brad SHOCKER! Angelina wants to adopt Jennifer Aniston!") and eating crackers and cheese... braving the tiny bathroom at the back and then returning to your seat right across the aisle from the fragrant gentlemen with the lobotomy scars who is Staring Right At You. In the bus station parking lot you shoulder your pack and whistle for a cab. The driver, an alcoholic ex-boxer, weaves in and out of traffic, leaning on the horn, shouting curses, flipping people off. At a corner he gets into a screaming match with another cabbie who gets out of his cab and advances menacingly. "Stay here," your driver says, reaching for a tire iron. "This could get ugly."

You leap out of the cab and split, leaving a handful of thrown dollar bills floating in your wake. You walk down the strip, past Diamond Joe's Liquor Guns & Pawn, past the hooker in the bikini, cowboy hat and a fake fur coat ("What is that-- Rat?") arguing with a drunk man wearing a wifebeater t-shirt and a shower cap. You walk the remaining miles, feet blistering, backpack strap chafing, sweat dripping down your forehead and stinging your eyes but you're almost there, you're so close-- turning down the tree-lined laneway, breathing in the smells of summer: lilacs and freshly mown grass. You're almost there. You turn the corner:

And your home, your childhood home, is now a concrete parking lot for the Christian Scientist church next door.

Breathe deep-- stay strong. You have your memories, don't you? Share them with family, share them with friends. And not everything has changed. While you're in The City, why not go to that BBQ joint you like? Mmm-mm, Ribs.


At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite arcade when I was a kid is now a strip-mall church.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger AGP said...

I bet they still take quarters.


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