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The airplane thundered through the clouds, touching down on what appeared to be an impossibly tiny runway. Certainly not the network of runways akin to the sprawling airports I had just left behind: Vienna, London, Toronto. But then this Northern Ontario town could hardly be compared to bustling cosmopolitan centers. Cosmopolitan. That's what I had wanted to be, had dreamt of bec­oming, for as long as I could remember. At first opportunity, I left home, resolving to never look back, abandoning ordinary small-town life and the sleepy countryside for extraordinary ur­ban life, lured to the bright lights by the quixotic promise of glamour.

It took awhile, but gradually I came to sample the true substance of what lay behind the enticement of glamour, the hypnotic appeal of the bright lights. Oh, I had skipped across the extraordinary stones, the last of which had seen me go to Vienna on a much sought-after posting. And education, coupled with bursting bravado, had nur­tured an easy confidence in me, a confidence and style that many people envied. Yet together with the confidence and style, my quest for the cosmopolite introduced me to betrayal and false­hood. To interchangeable values and ethics. My clear, simplistic outlook on life slowly and sinuously eroded: I can't recall when or how it started but bitterness and cynicism eventually tainted many ideals and emotions. A subtle transformation. Several years would pass before I could sit back and assess the superficiality around me and within me, before glamour would reveal itself for the impostor that it could so frequently be.

Now I was leaving Vienna and Europe behind, to return to a small, non-descript cluster of villages, strung out in desolate random along the Trans-Canada Highway. The doors of the airplane swung open. I strained to catch sight of my parents and saw them amid the small crowd, eyes anxiously scanning the deplaning pas­sengers. "They look frail, frail and oddly vulnerable." I read unmistakable pride on their faces as I went to them, "our daughter," they were silently shouting to the bystanders, "look at her!" My uncooperative body trembled as I moved into my parents' arms, tears threatened - the scalding heat brought an unexpected flood of warmth to an icy, deadened spirit. "I've been away too long," I admitted as we collected my assortment of luggage and walked to the car, "where and when did I forget what coming home is all about?"

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