The Urbs, the Urbs

The road led north through fall to where the lake laps winter. Great bridges in long, free spans that rise and fall, break to the left and to the right, open on something new, farther extend the extended road. Long sights, distant blue cities, the farms nearby, the rest stops that only pause our quest. The highway sped us, construction shunted and constrained us, the wind and rain and sunlight fell on us through blown leaves we left behind. Somewhere, rushing nowhere, a quiet creature goes by muddy waters listening as the reeds rustle in the local wind.

We walked Toronto’s busy sidewalks–bustling Chinatown, the autumnal colleges, the bleak downtown canyons under inhuman and inhospitable glasssteelconcrete monuments. They have an underground, a long, extended mall where out of the cold there is dry hot air in the warren of downtown. And we passed many, many people in that city of open acceptance–that destination of all the world. The museum was overflowing, prowled and thronged and still orderly. Tim Horton’s everywhere and everywhere a long line at the counter all day long and into night. Lines for the streetcars, every table taken behind glass, and rising over new towers construction cranes. Go to Canada and see the world.

I walk in Columbus now where along the sidewalks I can read. Perhaps on Campus there are more people. You see the law of proportions in the Short North, where the buildings are not towers dwarfing life–there people are and go and live and shop and eat and drink. Under the tower goes a luxury vehicle, crouching, poised for speed, alone on the street and the interior secluded all away behind hard glass as a bleak wind scatters the discarded leaves and paper.

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