I spent two hours dropping the little man with no face
Into various places around the world, places I’d been
With parents when I was small, and those I’d been to
On my own. Where I’d done bad things, kissed the boys
And made them cry. Where I got drunk and vomited
Into a flower pot. Where I disappeared into a dark alley
Holding the hand of an older boy. You can’t see
Down those alleys on Google Maps, but you can imagine
What has happened in their inky depths,
As drunken girls and boys come staggering forth
Laughing and looking forward to moving on,
Something that I never managed. Somehow I’m still stuck
There in Florida Road, aged twenty, wishing I was old.
Does anyone else sometimes go travelling the world on Google Maps? The other day I spent about an hour wandering up and down Florida Road in Durban, South Africa. I don’t know why I had the sudden urge to go back there, but I did. And I don’t even know if it made me feel all that good.
It certainly made me feel something. There was a pang, deep inside. I felt like I missed that place, but also felt a little like I had just been dropped back into my worst nightmare.
I was last there when I was twenty which is almost half a life time ago. I met my husband there and I spent several minutes just staring at that spot where we had our first conversation.
Perhaps, I am just searching for that nostalgic feeling, or to understand how my life got to where it is. I sometimes feel like that spot is where lightning struck; it is where my life changed. And sometimes I think it was for the best, and sometimes for the worst.
I guess we will only ever find out the answers once we’re at the end of our journey. In the meantime, I can keep pondering it as I travel the world from the comfort of my sofa. Or maybe I’ll buy a ticket somewhere and go start a new adventure?