In the deep south I wander through the city streets, completely lost. My sense of direction fails me, as always. With the sun high in the sky, I don’t know which way is east or west. It wouldn’t matter anyway because I am in a city that neighbors the Atlantic Ocean, which further confuses me. I can’t get my bearings.
Being lost in a strange city mirrors my state of mind. I feel an alliance with the physical sensation of being invisible, like I have fallen between the cracks. I am meant to be wandering aimlessly. I’m not anxious. I just keep walking. In this unfamiliar landscape I am trying to grab hold of my predicament, though nothing is quite clear. There are no light bulbs illuminating.
I walk into a square and see a very tall, disheveled man with a bushy beard standing in the middle feeding the birds. I see they know him. They have landed on his arms, shoulders and head. I stop and watch for awhile, as do others passing through. As I stand there, I feel a chill in the air. I am getting cold, wearing only shorts and a tank top. Perhaps I should call someone, but then I realize the phone hasn’t rung. No one is worried. I keep walking.
I come to another city square and find a bench away from the shade of the trees, to rest and get warm in the sun. I watch children playing four-square. The ball comes in my direction more than once and I pick it up and throw it back to the smiling little girl with long, black braids.
As I leave this square, I see a shop with a familiar blue and white striped awning. I know where I am now. I cross the street and start walking toward it. Then I see my dog; her soft brown coat, her tail wagging. She recognizes me.