6.01.2007

long drives



Life's most striking revelations come with movement, whether large or small. As we move between places -- across town, across the state, across the country, around the world -- we learn things about ourselves and those around us. Thursday night (actually early Friday morning), driving home from a night of dining and dancing with my friends Cathy and Alex, I had an extended moment of euphoric peace.

Making my way home from a night out is, at times, a melancholic experience, but more often, it's a peaceful time of reflection. This is also true of other transitions, between places within cities, between cities, between states and between countries.

Some of my favorite times in Paris were making my way home at anywhere from three to eight in the morning after a night of hard partying and hot, sweaty sex (unfortunately the former much more often than that latter). Like my drive home, although usually much longer and more physically demanding than the ride down I-275, my walks in the parisian twilight allowed me to digest and make sense of the events of the preceding hours and preceding days, weeks and months as my time there went on.

The clips above and below are from an after-concert "thing"(I've been watching too much Sex and the City) that followed the Hidden Cameras show I went to last October (Bonus points if you can find me in the first one. A kick in the face if you don't notice any of my many appearances in the second.) I ended up meeting the band afterwards, thanks in large part to the creepy Swedish friend of Salim, the guy I met while dancing next to an illuminated fountain on the "nuit blanche" and ran into at the concert. I later ended up dancing in ponytail extensions at the three-bedroom apartment of Valentin, Laurent, Marianne and their unidentified friend with one of the band members.

I honestly can't remember what I thought about walking home from the overcrowded home/french electro-pop studio/dancehall, but I'm sure I had sufficient time to reflect on my entire experience in France, if not my summer in San Francisco as well. I walked North (instead of South) for at least a half hour before correcting my mistake. I do remember walking around the famous cemetery, Père-Lachaise, which I unfortunately never ventured inside, and wandering through what would have been quaint alleys and staircases in the daytime, but were fucking deserted and creepy at six in the morning.

But I digress.

In less than a week I will again be boarding a plane to San Francisco for a summer of exploration and escape (if you've ever spent an extended amount of time in Tampa, FL, you'll understand). I'm fully expecting to spend many a night wandering the streets of San Francisco and boarding buses heading in the wrong direction after the sun has set (note to self: invest in compass).

One can hardly expect to wander through life without getting lost on a fairly regular basis (literally as much as metaphorically), but it often seems to me that I spend more time lost than heading towards any particular destination. And it's always worked out for the best -- although I say that knowing that I have no way of knowing that. My decisions, small and large (from what book to buy with my Barnes & Noble gift certificate to what college to attend) often seem to be largely the product of chance, and I often wonder whether my life is dictated by luck or whether my subconscious is just particularly adept at obscuring my true intentions from me.

As I avoid preparing for "the next big step," grad school -- not marriage, as I've just learned that you can't obtain Belgian citizenship through marriage -- I wonder if chance will be as kind to me?

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