True Places

Traveling with my friend Bill meant periodically winding up in places that I could not find again. There was the town we passed through one rainy night. In the center of the Town Square, there was an elephant poised on top of a sphere. It was memorable, but despite hunting for it for years, I have never located it. Or the warehouse we discovered that had three clubs and bars in it; one was featuring jazz, one rock and one for serious drinkers.
The lore of the road is full of phantom phenomena. You may be familiar with songs like Phantom 409. Been there, done that. I’ve been inside of unlocatable dinners that just weren’t there on the next road trip. I have, too, received travel advice from people who fade in the mist. And, no, I don’t visit psychics, go to seances or watch Discovery Channel shows on weird phenomena.
I thought about this stuff over the years. I decided that the sheer normality of the experiences argue for their actuality. I’m not talking Twilight Zone here. Just things that otherwise would not cause comment.
A few years ago, I found the quote below in Melville’s Moby Dick. Maybe True Places never are on maps. On your next trip, keep your eyes open.

“Queequeg was a native of Kokovoko, an island far away to the West and South. It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville

3 Replies to “True Places”

  1. Most interesting! Don’t think that I have been to any of those kinds of places before, but it is intriguing for sure. Does it count if you purposely head out in pursuit of a non-place, place and/ or make one yourself? I would think that children are really good at finding such unmapped treasures.

    1. True Places don’t like to be found easily. They get published in travel articles and get ruined by tourists. You wander into them by chance, and your right kids find them easier than adults.

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