As I was sitting on a train this morning I remembered a quote from Pascal Mercier. It goes: “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
I always thought of this quote as a beautiful metaphor, until now, when I realized that I quite literally have began leaving bits of myself in various cities. My bottom retainer is in a train station in Florence. It fell out of my pocket when I was trying to sleep on a station bench. My jean shorts and tights were most certainly in Rome until the day when all my roommates started packing their things and they mysteriously disappeared. Now, my clothing articles are either lost somewhere in the streets of Rome, or perhaps even back in Bakersfield California. My top retainer is in Amsterdam. The people who were fucking in my hostel room forced me to pack rather hastily. I also seem to have forgotten my laptop case and one earplug in this same location. My passport was stolen in Barcelona though it has probably already been sold (worth approx 10,000 dollars). And I cannot for the life of me figure out in which city I left my sleeping mask.
Perhaps Mercier meant for a less literal interpretation, perhaps he meant that as I grow small pieces of my old self will evaporate into whichever city I inhabit. Or even more likely, maybe he meant that, like people, (“I am convinced that different people awaken different beasts in you,”) different cities bring out different beasts in me. Either way, I have learned that there is no need for metaphors in this case as I quite literally have left pieces of myself everywhere in Europe and will never find them again unless I go back (even then unlikely).
Today seems to be a day of quotes. And now that you’ve had a brief insight into my thoughts of the day, I think I’ll be off to look at the art of Berlin.