“So kiss him again,
Just to prove to me that you can,
I will stand here and burn in my skin,” – from “Burn” by Ray LaMontagne (LaMontagne)
“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull,
And cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul,” – from “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen (Springsteen)
As the summer days race toward their end, I am drawn back to the beginning of the season and the words I wrote about how I feel so lost from my friends. So lost I rode my motorcycle the 2500 miles from Los Angeles to Toronto and “screamed banshees” through our old neighbourhoods.
It has been a summer of reflection and trying to understand myself and my actions more or less over the last ten years. Those ten years include the inspiration for my TV show Astoria, and then the writing and five year run of the show itself. Before I give you the final stories and their life altering conclusions ever appropriately accompanied by Springsteen inspirational quotes, I want to revisit the scene from Season 1 of Astoria when I followed Erica to the departure area of Toronto’s Pearson Airport, and then followed myself home.
In case you forgot, the story went something like this:
From what Erica’s sister Nikki told me, Erica was on her way back to her fiancé Damo. At least that’s what I inferred from Nikki telling me that Erica was on her way to the airport. I didn’t wait around to hear the rest, if there was a rest to hear.
I got out of the cab bristling with nervous energy. The departure drop-off lanes at Pearson were their usual mess of cars swerving over each other. Every part of me had a layer of perspiration. I had no idea of the airline, so I entered the nearest doors and searched in every direction. I might have even stared at the ground in case somehow Erica found herself meshed with the cold tiles.
It was ridiculous to think that anything was going to happen with her and I. This, more or less, was what Omar yelled after me as I bolted for the door. Chris just said my name in an imploring lilt, and I believe Cynthia said something about being a dummy. All due respect to my friends but, fuck those guys. We finally – only took five years, five hundred conversations, and one awesome night on my couch – proved them wrong. Though the current state of Erica and I maybe proved them right.
I looked up and saw Erica standing with Damo not more than 100 feet away. He had a traveler’s backpack snug to his shoulders and she had nothing more than her purse hanging tight to her back. Her hands rested on his shoulders and his cupped her waist. I willed my feet to move but the neurons must have crossed the signals as I could nothing but stand rigid with unblinking eyes and I was drawn into the past. Continue reading