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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Crossing Lines

Crossing into the European Union from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia I paint flags in my head that nobody agrees with.

Crossing from New York into New Jersey I leave something behind and I age every time.

Crossing over the City Line I remark how very dark it is in this city, and how odd considering how much richer this city is in comparison with surrounding cities. Of course it isn’t very dark in this city at all, it’s simply a case of my headlight not working, as the police officer explains to me.

Crossing over the County Line I notice how the radio in my car plays Journey pomping out Don’t Stop Believing every single time, but only when crossing the line in a southward direction.

Crossing the State Line I like to pause, if only for a second, so those that have spent their lives drawing lines on maps have not done so in vain.

Crossing into Hungary from Slovenia I am armed solely with a vocabulary of a single word, the Slovene word for Beer. So I skip food and drink. The only other words I use in that border town are the words of Unchained Melody as I join my new Hungarian friends who sing it all night for some reason. Of course we never actually finish the song because every time I attempt the line I’ve hungered for your touch it provokes from the Magyars chants of Hun-gary, Hun-gary, Hun-gary. Sadly we part as less than friends upon realization that I am not paying for the entire night’s worth of everybody’s beers, in any language.

Crossing into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland I look for Bono in camouflage.

Crossing the Danube some distance from Belgrade I remember Stormin’ Norman joking as he shows footage of bombing bridges in Iraq the first time the Coalition was Willing.

Crossing into Turkey from Greece, passing the sky-blue and white railings and then the red and white railings, of the bridge over the Evros/Meric river, I’m reminded of school and how we used to draw a line on our shared desk for two, forbidding crossings, punishing transgressions with gleeful smacks of a ruler, and happily scowling at each other from our side of the line.

Crossing the Transcontinental Divide in the heat of Arizona I take out a beer and pour it on the ground just to see where it will go.

Crossing into Italy from France I feel cheated that nobody wants to see my passport or even know who I am. Do they not know who I am? I might be cheap but the passport is not.

Crossing into Manhattan from the Bronx I tell myself I must remember to go to the zoo some day.

Crossing the Mersey from Liverpool to the Wirral I really wish they wouldn’t ruin such a great architectural riverfront by playing that song.

Crossing into Rhode Island from Massachusetts I wish I could get to name stuff on maps.

Crossing the Mississippi River at Helena the signs prompt me to look up at the sky for the radars that can tell if I’m speeding, and I wonder if they can tell that I’m crashing because I’m looking up.

Crossing into Kosovo from Serbia I fear I will be hit in the head by a dropping food parcel.

Crossing the Mason-Dixie Line I listen but never hear any music.

Crossing into Scotland from England I wonder if I’ll ever go back.

Crossing the Missouri River at Council Bluffs I wish there wasn’t a bridge.

Crossing from East Germany into West Germany after The Wall, I wonder where I am.

Crossing into Canada from Alaska I think there is no parallel.

Paul Dorrell cautions that

you should never cross a major river without once stopping and standing at water’s edge, trying to behold all that has passed there, and all that is yet to.


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