3.08.2006

the cathedral city


She came from Africa to the Cathedral city.

Have you ever seen it? You should.


The skyscrapers are mirrors to churches and cathedrals. You can't really tag a name on it. She was a first-generation immigrant. Her sisters had all gone to NYC. That did not sound original. She did not want to be the stereotypical Somali model.

For a long lost time she searched the soul of that city, walking day and night in different neighbourhoods, but maybe there was none. She had to change her name too. She slashed the "h" from Halima, did some more tweaking and became Aline. Almost like alien, she thought, but in the Cathedral city people did not seem to think that way. She wanted to blend in. Be one with the city. It never really occurred to her that those cathedrals were a reminder of the Catholic religion. They, too, were one with the towers. Secular landmarks of a new, blended identity. She ended up working for the government. I met her years after the lit classes we took.

"What happened to colorful clothes?"

"You see, I sold my soul to The Cause. I'm wearing the uniform too."

She flashed a wry smile. She was wearing a smart pantsuit and I took a quick look at my black boho dress and Vuitton bag. At least the bag was all right, but then there was the telltale scarf tied to it, giving off the fact that I was in another world.

"Which one? Federal or provincial?"

"I am a sovereigntist" she stated proudly.

"...oh yeah... in that case. I knew it would turn out alright."
"And you?"

"Nothing. Just writing."

"See!" She laughed. I knew you would turn out alright"

In a way, she is me, and I am her. A legal alien, blended in. And my skin has as many colors as hers.

We are one, meeting in another reality. She is a sister I never had. We are one, one with the city, time travelling in the Cathedral city.

written by Ann Marie Simard with my
own image "cathedral - dark city eyes"
- I am sorry, I can only create and use abstract art...

5 comments:

Globetrotter said...

Haunting image...

The cathedral city is like Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat...

V said...

...............Nothing. Just writing."See!" She laughed. I knew you would turn out alright"........
Ann Marie Simard

Well written; good for all of us.
V

Ayn said...

Maybe we're sisters too, cept we're still over here where it is a little different, but nice just the same ... wanted you to know at birth and childhood I was also an Ann Marie. Happy to share an affinity with you.

Shared in pen,
us

Tammy said...

I would love to see that Cathedral city in person. :)

TJ said...

Loved it!

TJ