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Say We Meet 02

This city encloses difference. Trading its virtual for our actual, it works against the everyday reminder of the cultural and political differences separating us—liberal from conservative, insider from out, local citizen from foreign migrant, the 99 from 1 per cent. The city draws us together—pulling us in and pushing us away down any one of a million new lines. As it bifurcating waterfronts cut into the desert, sprawl across borders, reach into shipping lanes, push through airport security, its stories create. The walls of airport terminal, line trajectories of desire down the street or through the mall. Its dreams prop up the hoarding beneath the scaffolding. We read the city through these images everywhere, search for its hidden meanings as we wait for our connections. Deciphering the intended from unintended we fix on light boxes across the platform, or a palmipsest beneath this bus shelter poster and that. We are vigilant for the city's next move. While we sleep or try to sleep, the city travels beside us, stowed in the overhead bins, or shoved under the seat in front. Its masterful striations are held on laptop or packed in a mobile device. Maps of the city no longer fold. They snap open and scroll. It the daylight, they bend us over faded displays. Together, we squint pinch finger a direction, or try to. Finally we snap the thing shut. We head out alone again, trying to remember where we started and where we it was we thought we’d go. Fellow walkers, my only and constant companions. Your perambulations ground me, even if your language escapes. The press of a hand, a nod, we recognize that there is little to say. Together, we set out and the story of the city carries on again. Lost, our memories guide us. We find our way somehow. We witness the city changing in front of our eyes. This street, building, shoreline, wasn’t here last time we checked. Over night more towers, more pathways. Exceedingly beautiful, minus the odd crack, an unfortunate break or leak. The residual dust and paper. A futile skew of pavers waiting to replace another mishap—man made or act of god. This morning I went out for a walk along the Hudson. The late afternoon light along False Creek was exceedingly beautiful as we biked the seawall. This afternoon I set out across the Thames. Is it too hot for a marina walk? Don’t mind if I do.

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