Friday, October 17, 2008

Project Blog It: Migration

They came from Mexico to work our fields. They came from Russia to marry us. From Poland to clean our offices. From Japan to serve us tea in expensive restaurants. Passports and visas define their existence in our world. Some we hate—most we hate—but others we adore: the Cuban dancing for dollars on the bar, Armenian and Turkish club kids in San Francisco (but of course, not at the same time), German tourists asking for directions and making w sounds instead of v. So many borders to cross, so many miles to go. Across continents and time zones.

Once—over the course of seven months—I traveled around the world. All the way. From Dallas to San Francisco to Kyōto to Pusan to Frankfurt to Amsterdam and back to Dallas. I felt like I had betrayed myself by going in a circle. Instead I should have zigzagged around until I somehow broke free from my orbit—sometime before breaking my own bank account—and flung myself out further, beyond time. Beyond space. And meaning. I still contend to this day that my day is actually tomorrow.

I am a time traveler. I have traveled beyond being, deep into the heart of nothingness. Across the event horizon of my own temporality. Yet I always manage to get back home before the end of the day. To shave and take a shower. To clean the cat boxes. To watch another sitcom recorded on the DVR.

At times, I stop to talk with my fellow travelers. Some I lead. A few I follow. Most I ignore. Although space is vast, it still is finite. Time, however, runs adjacent to eternity and parallel to perpetuity. Yet my time is a function of my space that will someday run out. We will meet again, though, at our final destination. Someday. But we’ll cross that desert when it’s our time to migrate to our mother country whose language we no longer speak. I’ll see you there, sitting at a café beside a bridge and a cathedral in a land on no map.

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