Mississauga

Mississauga is, I think, a city much like Los Angeles – or at least the Los Angeles I imagine. It’s a mound of buildings raised where highways cross paths like tangled string, roads all six lanes across. Where one drives everywhere, and everywhere is built for one to drive to.

I remember New York from travelling there, and how different it was. I’ve never lived in a place the majority of people simply have no need for a vehicle of their own, but it seemed like everyone was going somewhere by subway, or by bus, or on foot. The legion of taxis take over the streets at night – one doesn’t need a car. And in that way, it seemed like everything was connected by bloodstreams of transit. It seemed like everyone was entangled that way.

Mississauga has no connections. We collide at shopping malls and faceless big-box stores. We murmer apologies, bumping elbows. We get into our cars and go our separate ways. Only the poor take busses – one knows income level that way. You aren’t rich enough to own a car, or two.

I live in a basement apartment in the knowledge that it would be entirely possible to never interact with my community at all. In New York, at least our bodies interacted, even if we didn’t like it. In Mississauga, I go from the sanity of my dwelling to the sanity of my car to the sanity of my work and back again. My blurry-faced neighbors do the same every morning. I know when they leave for work, but after that they are lost. They come home, and are lost again.

Something tells me that Mississaugans watch a lot of television, if just to have a window into outside, if only to see other people. We are safe, I think, and rather dead.

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