the mourning dove died before she had a chance to meet her. the dove had been nesting on the living room windowsill. she had seen pictures of her before she moved and she could almost hear her coo through the photographs, but by the time she had landed in the city, the dove’s eggs had fallen out of the nest, and she had flown away.
she came here to forget, to push aside, to ignore for a while.
in this city, there are people everywhere, all the time. it is not just a city; it is multiple cities within a seemingly endless stretch of more cities. she cannot breathe the air; the air is grey. the air is grey and filled with noise, thundering and clamouring and making it difficult to think.
she thought the vertigo came from the ferry rides back and forth between the shores. the ferry rocked on the waves and her compass swerved. even as she stood very still, she felt her body move to and fro between continents. but the vertigo did not abate, not with pills, not with ginger tea. she woke up wishing she could go on sleeping, wondering if she should have done any of the things she had done or said any of the things she had said. she took to lying in bed until noon, staring at a point in the ceiling. when the point disappeared, she moved to the living room. she wondered where the sun was and why she could not see the sky from the windows. she sat on the couch and pressed her feet firmly onto the ground, anchoring herself with her hands tightly clasped on her knees.
she hadn’t left anything behind, that much she knew; only her mind whirled, her head fell in circles.
in her stories, there had often been communication, but no reciprocation. it had been natural to move across the world, to learn the particularities of a lofty language, to experience a new old culture, to discover a part of her that was so familiar, yet so far removed. she was a stranger here the same way she was a stranger there, but in the end the outcome no longer mattered—in between was the only world she knew, and she learned to take it with her, wherever she went.