Great Wall

“Move to China,” he says, “You love China.”

What a peculiar thing, I think.  But I think it over.  And over.

I would move.  I would move tomorrow.  I always think that.  In recovery, they call that “doing a geographic.”  As if your problems don’t follow you, like a shadow.  Like that song “Me and My Shadow.”  Strolling down the Avenue.  Which Avenue?  Second?  Third?  Seventh?  Like the Roseanne Cash song, maybe.

Now we’re through the looking glass and into the catalogue.  Or the iTunes library, depending upon one’s generation, I suppose.

I oscillate, vacillate between wanting to be settled and wanting to run.  That much is obvious from the way I write, right?  Perhaps this is normal; natural; perhaps everyone feels these things, but perhaps most people have a mechanism by which they can cope with these running feelings.  Perhaps most people can suppress them or have healthy ways of saying “Down, girl; sit, stay.”

Me, I get on a plane and bolt.  My notebooks are full of nothing but ticket stubs. 


I think about the Great Wall, and the way my calves hurt for days after climbing at Mutianyu–and it was a climb.  Some of the steps were wide and flat, and others incredibly tiny–not even suitable for the smallest of feet.  Vendors selling waters at the towers, and men hawking marble slabs etched with the face of Christ at the foot of the hill.

And the bobsled. 

There’s a bobsled, you know.  Nevermind the townhomes like one might find in any American suburb on the drive out to the Wall; nevermind the reggae playing on the walk up to the cable cars to the top; nevermind any of that.  There’s a bobsled to take you back down to the bottom once you’re done climbing.

Twists and turns and treacherous corners on slick cement; monitors at the sharpest curves to shout faster or slower at the ridiculous Americans and Aussies and various and sundry other gweilo rocketing down the hill on little plastic sleds.

“I’ll think about it,”  I reply, “I’ll think about China.”  As if I am not already thinking about it.  As if I am not already frantically Googling jobs in China; as if I am not already ready to run; one foot out the door. 

I could commit to China, I think.  China is vast and there are still parts that are forbidden; unexplored.  There’s a pressure release-valve there.   Unlike the American West.  America no longer has a frontier.   That must be the problem with the States.

But maybe it’s just the problem with me.

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