29 July 2007

I Can't Feel My Legs...

Another Boston sojourn.

It's one of those towns that feels paradoxically like a place I've never been before and a place I've never left. It feels like America. What I mean is: it's hard to find my way around Boston--even with a map. And, so far, I can't find a way into Boston--even after friends have introduced me to their favorite restaurants and museums and pubs and I've spent weeks of intuitive wandering around on foot and riding public transit.

I can't find or feel the heart and soul of this place.

I've come to Boston three times now, always by invitation. And yet, I feel again like it doesn't make much difference to Boston that I'm here, no big deal to Boston if I stay or if I go.

I don't feel insulted or abused. Don't feel despised or misunderstood. Don't feel awkward or afraid. Just feel like a superfluous element in a set that could be the backdrop for everywhere or nowhere.

I feel hypnotized or anesthetized. Like I'm moving in only two dimensions. Like not all of my cells survived the trip through the Transporter.

I think about Boston and then I think about New Orleans --where I move in no fewer than three dimensions -- and somehow I'm reminded of Tina Turner's spoken word intro to "Proud Mary"...

You know
Every now and then

I think you’d might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy
But there’s just one thing, you see
We never ever do nothin’ nice and
We always do it nice and rough
But we’re gonna take the beginning of this song and do it easy
But then we’re gonna do the finish rough
That’s the way we do
Proud Mary

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