North by Northwest (2008)


this writing originally appeared as part of a body of work written as part of a project over the course of winter 2008. it has since been edited and polished, and appears now in its semi-final format, tho it is best conveyed via live performance. on a more personal note to myself: i should renew my passport. -RD
I have lived here all my life, and should have left long ago but couldn’t.
Some days I look in the mirror and ask whose body this is, anyways. The body of Puget Sound? My thighs the straits of Juan de Fuca? Maybe this furrow hidden under clothes is Deception Pass.

This land is my land. This land of camas, of brutal and frequent rain, the seasonal affectation of goretex, of blackberry tangles and deep forests.

I tried to leave. On two wheels then four, by foot and train, there’s too much to keep me here.

The tarred timbers shivering in the salt at the pier call me back. I can’t sustain myself in a clime where there is no steady tattoo of rain to lull me to sleep and comfort my wakening. What is navigation if there aren’t bodies of water and glacial till to reckon my way by? I get lost in better-platted cities than my own, feel unsafe when the network of streets becomes too predictable. Muggers lurk in other cities, but here I feel safe even where I shouldn’t.

My explorative nature should have put me to some dangerous elsewhere by now–I should have gotten out when I still had a valid passport, globetrotting pen and ink like Stein or Hemingway, but I can’t call that sketch mine now. This place is all I desire, and so I mark like a compass needle, north by northwest, the sound like the reassuring slap of waves.


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