I thank the teller, push open the door, and note the familiar jingle of the bells. A moment later, I’m there again – or at least I will be (occasionally it all begins a block or so away).
No matter the moment, no matter how long it has been, whenever I close the eyes of my consciousness, it’s always that same street where I find myself strolling.
I think it may be the same for many of us. Not the same street, of course (and thank God for that, for if the populace of Now were present in my forever-perfect Then, where then would I go to hide?) but on one personal to each individual.
This isn’t quite the same as that Magic Snapshot we each carry of that moment each of us elevates to ideal. It isn’t even that graveyard of childhood hopefulness that we each staked off long ago for guided tour whenever we decide to allow others access into that moment when we too were failed. This place is different. Fluid, if not still same. A setting more than a plot.
This place, for me at least, is a street, or rather a single square block from a faraway place from my not too recent past.
This street, the real one is still in use to this day, is not of any particular significance… at least if you ask the City Planner’s office. It isn’t, ironically, the location for any of my own major moments. Most of my most significant scenes occurred offstage with regards to this particular location.
Still, this street is like no other, for it is the place to where I’ve always returned in moments of refection. Perhaps I always will.
So what makes up this Spiritual Main Street?
There are certainly parts that change, but so much more of it stays always the same.
There’s always a bookstore, there’s often a bar. I don’t believe there to be an electronics store, and the restaurants seem to come and go.
The seasons change, but it is rarely summer. I love shorts and flip flops, but this place seems always to have a chill… at least on the nights when I’m there.
On that note, it isn’t always night. Though perhaps there is always a certain level of dusk within me whenever I feel in need of an all-renewing stroll.
I tend to be alone when I walk down that street, even (or especially) when there are many other people present.
My age in these moments is interesting. It isn’t always me as I presently am, though it quite often is. What doesn’t age is this place. The stores change, but stay – if named at all – relative to a certain year when (apparently) I first set down this marker for later reference.
The soundtrack, as one might imagine has a certain familiarity (if not to the song, then certainly the pace and tone).
For everything that doesn’t change, what takes me back there changes even less. Everything has the power to carry me back to that street, though I sometimes wish this plethora of triggers was more readily available.
As for the other details, these other questions are perhaps more yours than mine. That’s OK, for this is my place. There are no tickets to my Main Street. Not for you and not even, in case you figured otherwise, for me.
Indeed, there are moments I would give anything to walk once more upon my Main Street when nothing seems able to guide me on my way. Similarly, there are times I truly wish to avoid a return trip, or at least to stay wherever it is that I am in that moment, that I feel myself being pulled along by the tide all the more.
Maybe what makes up my Main Street matters only in that it examples somewhere we each have also been.
But that’s just mine. How about yours? Perhaps I’ll see you there sometime. Perhaps I already have.