March 5, 2017 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on March 4, 2018

What to write about his morning… About feeling a bit dull and thick, slurry-ish, slow-moving? Not sure why this dullness–maybe it’s the weather, which is still in a terrific trough of subzero temperatures.

Yesterday, W. and I made a blood orange upside-down cake, and added (by mistake) an entire extra cup of sugar to the dough. So… this cake was ridiculously sweet, and in the afternoon, after we all had some, I took myself for a long Arctic trek to walk it off. A. left (while I was still Skyping with E.) to meet C., so I walked alone. It was probably for the best, as I did not feel much like conversing.

I walked very quickly, sometimes propelled by the wind at my back, at other times leaning into it. I walked with a sense of confused wonderment that this was my life, now walking through a mostly suburban part of B., in what is undeniably a harsh, not temperate, climate–maybe becoming more so if climate change makes our weather patterns spikier. I wondered why seemingly interesting creatives, professionals with compelling careers (or are they?), like Wx. and Dx., stay put in B. (and then proceed to seem invisible). Or why people like W. and I came back to B. Surely, this place cannot have a hold on me? It’s so far removed from the urban Altstadt of where I was born, with its handsome Jugendstil six-story houses, the kind of urban form which no doubt imprinted itself on my baby- and toddler-brain as an ideal, but which I lost at three, three-and-a-half, and “regained” (as it were) but briefly in Munich (where, perhaps not at all coincidentally, I met my life mate). In Vancouver’s West End, amid the high rises, which did not have the pleasingly close street walls of the European city, but at least had the flavor of urbanity, I kept an aspect of that. Moving to Boston (Brookline) and then B., it all disappeared. Before we moved here, Boston was hyped up to me as “so European,” a claim I couldn’t fathom when I actually got to see it. Aside from brief blocks in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and maybe the North End, it isn’t European at all. Perhaps, were I to live in my ideal city, I’d be kidding myself as much as anywhere else. It’s entirely likely. But then again, location matters–as any realtor will happily confirm. I want to live in a real city, but now that Vancouver is off the table (like San Francisco, too expensive), and Europe, too, is out of the question, I just have no idea where to set my sights, where to aim. And climate… that’s a conundrum. But at least in a city, in winter, you could perambulate (not drive!) to some chosen neighborhood spots.


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