Thursday, July 10, 2014
Platypi Feet: Strange Platypus(es)
I'm planning on seeing two old friends this summer. One of them I haven't seen in fifteen years (though we have spoken via email and post). It's a sort of homecoming -or maybe just touching base. The problem is there's a lot of dirt under my shoes. I've been walking the world a bit since '99: L.A., Houston, Oxford, Ireland, Italy, Cameroon, Mexico. I guess that may make it sound like more than it is, but I've been places and seen things. They've been walking the world too, but always with that return to home plate in New England. They're New Englanders. But what am I? Will I look like a Californian in my Hawaiian shirt? How many Calafornianism have crept into my vocabulary? Have I developed a noticeable twang? Are the smatterings of Spanish, Pigeon, and English slang mere affectations? My accent will come back. It always does. Maybe I'll hyper-correct and sound more like a Yankee than I ever did when I lived there. I'll want to see all the places, soaking them up like a tourist instead of moving through them like a fish in a pond. I can suppress that urge -don't want to be obnoxious...
In the end, what makes you what you are? Are you a Californian if you think Cholula and Sriracha are staples? Do sarcasm and harsh nasals make you a Yankee. How many years does it take for everyone but a native to consider you a Texan? Do those places that you visited or stayed have a claim? How many semesters are required to make an Oxonian? At least all the Irish I met considered me a long lost cousin (and that was much appreciated!).
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Someone stabbed the Fisher King
The Round Table broke
And I was left to wander in the Wasteland
Qui Transtulit Sustinet