a rush of students flood the center. how can you breathe in here? i already miss the quiet of the past few weeks.
so much is already expected of me. i try to express my thoughts on post-colonial morocco when suddenly i forget how to conjugate “aller.” i am a stranger in a strange land. the natives are twenty feet tall, looming over me while i try and figure out the most polite way to ask them to repeat their question.
“désolé, je n’ai pas compris. . .”
[no, too basic.]
[ew, what am i? canadian?]
“euh, j’ai pas complètement saisi. . .”
by this time, they’ve already moved on.
– – –
i return home to an empty little studette.
[oh god, what am i doing here?]
a moment later, i’m rushing down the street, past the tired storeowners closing shop. i don’t even take the time to watch their silent repose, share their lonely fatigue. i divide my eyesight between the iPod in my hand and the ground below me.
[music. music. music.]
what is this innate need for an incessant internal soundtrack?
five minutes later, pont bir hakeim. i’m running down the middle. on either side, a blur of cars rush past.
[who are these people? who drives in the city? what makes them so different from me?]
bisecting the middle of this bridge is an long man-made island. one end of the island has a miniature replica of the statue of liberty.
[how french. they couldn’t just let a gift be original. they had to have one for themselves.]
on the other side sits a statue. a stoic soldier sits atop his horse, pointing up. following the direction of his sword, i find myself staring up at the eiffel tower. the reluctant national symbol, just minutes from my home.
just as björk’s “modern things” comes on, the tower suddenly lights up. thousands of little shining lights flash along with rhythm.
All the modern things
Have always existed
They’ve just been waiting
To come out
And take over
It’s their turn now
[yes, this is why i’m here.]