Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the tag “journey”

A Place I Never Reached

“Can Any Good Thing Come out of Nazareth?”

Such a ridiculous sentiment. On the surface it suggests there are places of which we should expect nothing. There are those who genuinely seem to believe that to be considered worthy you must come from such and such place.  Or have gone to such and such a college. If your blood is merely red…

No, I’m not talking about the city in Israel:

764px-The_virgins_fountain_Nazareth_Holy_Land_(i.e._Israel)

Nor for that matter am I talking about the place in Pennsylvania The Band sang about:

My train pass not being valid I had to hitchhike, and rides were unfortunately hard to come by. At least part of the problem was the difficulty of anyone who actually wanted to give me a ride actually being able to do so without putting themselves at considerable risk. To give you an idea of the distance I covered after 8 hours or so, imagine taking the journey with a donkey.

252px-Donkey_a(Photographer: Watta)

To be honest, I should have probably noticed I wasn’t in an area particularly renowned for the leisurely strolls of the bourgeoisie. When two men jumped out of a van and approached, I knew at least I wasn’t going to be kidnapped, my net worth being considerably lower than Patty Hearst or the poor guy whose ear was cut off.

Actually it was the police who after showing me their IDs, asked,  “Do you want to be in a line up? We’ll pay you.” Although I could have used a little hard cash, just the tiniest possibility of being picked as the guilty party by an eyewitness (and we know how very unreliable they are) put me off the idea. They were fine with that and just told me to be careful as I was in a dangerous neighborhood.  It was getting dark, and their warning prompted me to get a bus ticket and head back into the center of the great big metropolis, never having reached my destination.

A Plane to Catch

When I began my journey I wasn’t in possession of a boarding pass for the second leg of my journey. The airline staff had either been unwilling or unable to explain why I couldn’t be given one.

Having dashed through a lengthy maze of corridors I found myself in front of a huge departure board. To my left was a Customer Service counter. I quickly joined the line with hordes of other passengers who were waiting impatiently. The lack of personnel did not facilitate anything being done terribly quickly.

It took longer than you can imagine.  I was seen to and handed something. I saw printed in unmistakable capital letters, STANDBY. I would be given a boarding pass at my gate at the other terminal.

After an escalator or two, I found myself skirted off by train. I wanted to believe things might possibly be reaching their climax. But then I saw I’d have to go through security again And passport control.

As I rushed off, half-dead from not having slept the previous night, my left calf was so tight I was expecting a cramp that would send me writhing on the floor. In earlier times this might have elicited sympathy but in our days it would have probably only meant being surrounded by automatic weapons and being told to step down.

Arriving, I asked for a seat and was told to go to 25A. Nobody was there. Are you sure? I nodded speechless. Then go to 25.

Thankfully, someone was there. Ahead of me were four people holding US Passports. It was obvious from their names they were Arab Americans. Outraged they would have to go through security, they demanded to see the manager. I’m not sure if they ever got the chance since the woman instead was given my passport and in no time at all I had a seat for a flight I ran off to catch.

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