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The real skinny on the weekend. (sort of.)

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The real skinny on the weekend. (sort of.)

Yikes. Nothing like a weekend road trip to some place you’ve never been before you to remind you why you’re so eccentric.

As they say, there’s nothing like “getting away from it all.” I have, in a sense, been “getting away” from all of it for almost a year now. I moved away from The Big Life, back to the Subdivisions, and now, here I have found myself moved to the ends of the earth (or continent, at least). I have been “there”, and now am trying to avoid it.

But, not. Halifax is a **vibrant** city, with a tonne of culture that goes beyond historic monuments, local major-micro-brews and bagpipes. The local music scene is strong; the city is a stop for major Pop acts; it has a Pride Week (and Parade); its galleries play host to scandalous displays; and the town also has its own version of Shakespeare in the Park – you know you’ve made it when you can take the greatest examples of English drama, dumb it down for the masses, and present it for free in gale force winds. In short, aside from the lack of repertory cinema (which is being rectified – check out, Halifax has all that one might find in Dirty T.O., but on a way more comforting and friendly scale. It’s the best of both worlds, and I enjoy it very much.

Yet, the Little Excursion To The Ocean (which for me was actually A Trip To See The Ocean – there is a difference for a Toronto-boy) had the effect of an animated ten-tonne weight dropping on my animated frame. I was caught off-guard by (1) how much I despised the ugly side-effects of western culture and (2) my pressing desire to return to the city to live, breathe, and Consume western culture.

Let me explain. (That is, read on to understand).

I went on a trip to an unknown, beautiful, and sparsely populated area. My companions were one person so-very-close to me, and three equally gentle and nice people, who I have not yet had the pleasure of becoming better acquainted with. Thus, I had the opportunity to contemplate. There were many quiet moments for me to sit and wonder about the all Things Big, Small and Fine in life. The state of reflection and long-ish travel-times left me astounded of the scenic beauty of the country. Understand that my sheltered soul is accustomed to the savage isolation of asphalt, hydro rights-of-way and tall-as-pines light standards – Nova Scotia’s Hwy 101 is a blinding opposition to the 401 or QEW. The colours (green, blue, and mud-brown) are lush instead of dull; time is slowed, but not because of traffic jams; the act of traveling to your destination is not a chore but a pleasure to be exercised.

And I loved it. Every moment of it. My cynical, sarcastic and brutally ironic nature was beaten down by it. I loathed the city then. I could throw away what little I own and instead settle down on some rural route or PO box number (to write a manifesto, as some suggested 😉 ). I wanted OUT of the car, so I could walk away, and pick up the earth, or kick around some sand, or witness a tiny moment of soil erosion. That was my world. For a moment my existence, while still yet unexplained and likely still unnecessary to the forward motion of humanity and progress, could at least satisfy itself with a Lucretian mode of happiness.

And then, I felt the pull. The drag. The rubber band was stretched to its elastic limit, and soon the snap would come – I need to get back, and I need to get back NOW. Not long into the second day did I need a newspaper like a drug. I needed to act and react. I needed to consume. Now I wanted OUT of the car because cars should not be necessary for the urban lifestyle I want to live. I was then **allergic** to the car, and needed to walk, or at least take public transit (despite my hate for public transit). I needed popular culture, be it the canned American variety, or my very own. I needed to consume again. And it was just not happening in Digby, Melford, Springfield or Wolfville. I needed the big, old, dirty artifices of the city – that which I despised not so long ago – as I needed nothing else in the world before.

It was not until we drove back into Halifax that I tried to reconcile my two loves/hates. There is a stretch of highway in HRM (the 101, in Lower Sackville, maybe?) where the highway divides itself and increased in size to four lanes. It then climbs a hill and makes a turn. Here lied the asphalt, light standard and hydro rights-of-way that I so despised, alongside the Escarpment-like hill that was still full of dense trees and other such foliage. I did not reconcile the two (for I knew how awful I am at such forms of logic), but at least recognized my two opposing natures. I love the city. And I hate the city. I love culture. And I hate culture. I want to be smack-dab-down-in-the-middle of some artistic, extroverted scene. And I want to run, as fast as I can, and as afar as possible, away from it and all its forms.

In short, I might as well pick up a daisy. I love The West. I love it not. I love The West. I love it not. I love The West. I love it not. Ad infinitum.

(This entry explains everything and nothing all at once. I’m in no position yet to begin a discourse on my life.)


Written by mitchellirons

July 17, 2002 at 1:10 am

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