The Compass


Which road do I travel? To go North is to go up. Up and away to better things that might come my way. There sit the giant three story houses with marble staircases and floors that shine. There are the pianos with dancing keys that never stop to wonder about purpose. To go North is to go up so far that you might never look down. If you do, you might fall and from up there it hurts much worse. Life would be lived on the edge of stairs, forever clinging on to the banister.

To go South is to go down. Rusty pipes for a stoop railing and windows with air conditioning units hanging half way out. They work only some of the time. To go down means to travel into the bare bones of a city, forever looking up. There is nowhere closer to the ground than the South and therefore there is always hope. It could always get better because it couldn’t get any worse.

To go West is to go left. A little left of center is always off. Like a lazy eye that doesn’t see straight, everything is slightly off balance. Leaning brick houses stoop together over a street filled with antique cars. They move slowly, but they always get to where they want to be. To go West means you’re always looking crooked. A slanted point of view is not always a clear headed one.

To go East means to go right. The right way means the right choices. A cookie cutter plan mapped out on an old wooden table. If you follow it precisely, you’ll get to the white picket fence with a yard of gold. A porch swing rocks slowly as if someone has just gotten off the ride. There is no need for a ride when you’ve already made it.

To stay put is to die waiting. Watching the current of others as they move from place to place is like being on a windowsill. Forever sitting, never moving.