Thursday, March 26, 2009

At the Birches

Here I am, in Amherst, taking in the great little town here (there is a bookstore on every corner! I saw books I've never seen!). Found Hebrew and Chinese children's blocks in the toy store, and language shower curtains. And in the store next door, "barbie skulls." I bought one as a present!

Oh, and UMass. Riiight. That's why I'm here. I stopped off in Greenfield as I was driving down, and I saw the most enormous, beautiful train trestle, but I had no camera. It looked great and sad there, in the drizzle. There were also some cool storefronts in decay and a few disintegrating motel signs. And it was a good day for picture taking too, alas. Greenfield is a little depressed, but I saw some signs of life on main street there, even so--I mean it was busy, and there were some new and interesting businesses. Amherst, of course, is bustling and so is Northhampton, where Smith is I guess, which explains why--college towns. I think Northhampton is where my mom and I sang "Le Bourgeois," as we meandered down the street, but my memory could be failing too:
"Le bourgeois, all are very dumb,
the older that they get, the dumber they become!
Le bourgeois, what a bunch of pigs,
one of them is bald, and the other two wear wigs!"
(Rod McKuen's translation of Jacques Brel)

Springfield has some nice low-end houses, and also a couple of REALLY SWEET studios, if they last. It is a lot to think about. Meanwhile, I will have to try to find parking on campus tomorrow and then find History. Needless to say, it won't be the same as moving quietly through Wieboldt, through Harper, into Social Sciences, and then hovering around the second floor offices or running your hand against the paneling in 122 (?). But you can't go home again. And in any case, it would not be home any longer. It would be missing a person I love.

"I went there uncertainly, for it was foreign ground and there was a tiny, priggish, warning voice in my ear which [...] told me it was seemly to hold back. But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city." (EW)

Phrase of the day (and no, I'm not over it yet):
Wǒde zìxíngchē shì tài fùzáde.
My bicycle is too complicated.
(I'm not sure if it really calls for "de" at the end, but I'll risk it.)

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