I am a resident of a middling town on a small subtropical island in the middle of the ocean. If I so desired I could circumnavigate the the entirety of basalt, soil and sand in three hours, passing through other middling towns, villages, vast fallow fields not yet sprouting subdivisions and strip malls and arrive in the one city I know well, from the tight packed ghettos and aging suburbs to the small urban core where parking is near impossible to find. From that city on that island I have departed multiple times, clapping the dust from my sandals, aiming to become a citizen of the world. Each time I have returned, humbled.

I am a failed cosmopolitan, lacking the wherewithal to transmute myself to different climes and languages, to insert myself into different social circles, to flourish in alien soils. I once sought to tell stories of my journeys, to be more than the resident of a middling town on a small island. In my youth I leaned towards distant suns, ones read about in books and in songs and movies. I saw myself going there and everywhere. I followed my dreams, not knowing the difference between them and ambitions. The thing about dreams is that you eventually wake up.

And I woke up, finding myself a resident of a middling town on a small subtropical island in the center of the ocean. The same place where the bones of my ancestors rest in soil since before words could be written down. I know my fate is to join them there, in time my name forgotten as theirs. I am a provincial person, and though my blooms by be alien, colored by the land of the rising sun and watered from afar by the Seine and the Neva, my roots are here and they wilt when transplanted. Here I will sing a song celebrating the glories of the small-minded provincial, who finds in the bend of the road behind his home as much to say as all the philosophies in the world combined.

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