say yes

felt you in my heart

city of my heart

with one comment

The title is a lyric from one of my friend’s songs. When I was in London last spring, I kept thinking of that song.

I met a girl last night who was born in Germany to American parents. We share this thing that marks us, even though it’s invisible. We might have talked all night without discovering our common difference.

Her friend was teasing her about her Wisconsin accent. And I said, when I get together with my sister, I get my old accent back a little. Then her friend asked me where I was from. And I said, like I usually do, Well, I was born in California.
And the friend goes, Oh! Where in California?
And I told her, San Francisco.
I’m from Fresno, she said, excited.

I have no idea where Fresno is. I have no idea where anything in California is, except San Francisco and L.A., and I’m pretty sure Sacramento is somewhere in the middle. This is why I don’t say I’m from California, because inevitably I run into people who really are from California, and then I am revealed as an interloper.

I left when I was eight, I explained, I don’t know where Fresno is. So they asked where I moved to and I said, Sweden.

So she told me she was born in Germany. I could tell she was excited to tell someone who had been overseas, but we almost never knew. There is nothing to show our difference.

I wonder if she feels it. If she longs to return. If either of us will, or if we’ve already left forever.

Although I am unmarked, I feel it every day, homesickness, a pull to places I cannot claim. I was walking down Broadway yesterday and I saw a woman in a quilted silk jacket, and for a moment, for several blocks, I missed Shanghai so badly I could taste its loss. Like metal on the back of my tongue, like I was crossing a river with a knife in my mouth.


Written by ponyboi

October 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Our connections to places and cultures can be overwhelming.

    Your writing is very powerful, evocative. Thanks for sharing it!


    October 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

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