My Dad’s eyes are subtly asymmetrical; the right one is open, alert, while the left is slightly shadowed by the brow, a little rounder in shape. On a father-daughter trip to Montreal, I snapped a photo of him standing against a painted wall, the sun perfectly striking his face; the right eye more prominent, slightly illuminated, the left, shadowed, mysterious. He smiles in the photo, and on the wall behind him a ferocious animÃ© girl is painted, her two glowing eyes symmetrical and icy blue, whip-like hair violet, fiery against the orange brick background. This photo always reminds me of our trip to that city: contrasts between order and chaos, between planned splendor and accidental beauty, which somehow meld to form a frustrating, magnificent place.
After the first day in
Our second and final day we took one long walk around the city. We were lost again – yet, this time instead of trying to master its maze, we let the streets take control of us. We never opened our map, never stopped to ask for direction, to find a destination; we followed the winding alleyways, explored the streets lined with a rainbow assortment of color-blocked houses, traveled from the downtown to the college ghetto to the old town square by foot. Stopping by a cafÃ© for lunch, I ordered in French, helping my Dad to do the same, my cheeks blushing crimson as I received a surge of adrenaline and the correct plate of food; hot crepes with ham and cheese. (A couple months later, I told a visiting student from
Only when I lost myself in
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