I was back in my old house in Roselle, New Jersey and took a walk to the little shopping area of my childhood, with the C & Q liquor store, Jack’s barbershop, Lorraine Pharmacy, Debby and Irv’s corner store, the R & R TV repair store (that I always suspected was a front for something else), Burt’s Hardware and more. Except none of it was there. It had all been razed and there were some modern generic buildings, all unrecognizable. I spoke in Spanish to someone asking what happened and then ran into Sonja Czuk, the newly retired secretary of the Orff Institut in Salzburg (where she had worked for 47 years!). She and her husband Franz were looking into working in one of these new buildings and we agreed to try to meet later with my friend Sofia from Spain.
Then I woke up.
In an apartment in the Bulgarian Embassy in New Delhi, India, having just flown there last night after teaching in Bangkok, Thailand and staying in an apartment with my good friend Zukhra from Dagasthan, one of the countries that had been swallowed up by Russia. Not too far from Belaruse where my grandparents were from. On the plane, I saw a movie about “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and read my book about two guys travelling in Ireland, France, Spain, Morocco and were now in Venice. Tomorrow I will teach at the American Embassy School, where the children come from Korea, Israel, Germany and some 45 other countries.
Whether in dream, in films, in books, in my waking, walking, teaching life, I’m a travelin’ man, a citizen of all places, a friend of all people. And now I can talk about it on this blog, where, according to my stats, people from Russia, the U.S., Switzerland, Ukraine, France, Portugal, Thailand, India, Hong Kong and China are reading it.
Well, it certainly keeps things interesting.