Monday, November 8, 2004
the wild blue yonder
i would dye my hair bright red on arrival. i would drink my coffee black - de rigueur - and develop, with possible difficulty, a taste for brown rice and abstract jazz. i might even smoke, if only for effect. i would wear sandals and silver and pierce my ears: once, twice, maybe more. i would use my first name instead of my second. i would seize each day. i would dare.
i had plans.
i was nineteen, and ready for a new me, and i had three days and three nights on the cross-canada train to deliberate my re-creation.
when i stepped onto the platform in vancouver, though, to my dismay, a distant
western aunt - hastily deputised by my worried father - strode forward to greet me, and bustled me off to coquitlam, to a pink chenille bedspread turned neatly down, to old family photographs and anecdotes; i escaped to independence as quickly as i politely could, but the liberation of true anonymity evaporated like the steam in her constant kettle.
my hair remained blonde. i only learned to smoke a decade later in a town in southern holland. the delights of abstract jazz still totally elude me. but three earrings and a tiny tattoo later, i still try to seize every day, and i will always dare, because i can't not.
and i'm still called what i've been called my entire life.
it's who i am, after all.