Trouble in the City

“Houses so close to each other you can almost feel your neighbour’s breath on your cheek, rooftops so close they almost collide like artificial tectonic plates, making the sky look like an azure crack in the ceiling.”

grantsnider
Art by: Grant Snider

As thrilling as the city is, its modern interpretation is more lacklustre than not to me. There’s something about it that doesn’t seem natural. Something that’s not quite right.

Houses so close to each other you can almost feel your neighbour’s breath on your cheek, rooftops so close they almost collide like artificial tectonic plates, making the sky look like an azure crack in the ceiling. Apartment buildings and flats too small to house any imagination, to welcome any overabundance of ideas. But at the same time, it’s almost impressive how we are living lives of hedonism and intemperance in tiny rooms only large enough to fit our limbs. But what do we do of our dreams then? What place will they have to grow? Do we just throw them out of the window? Bid them goodbye as they go with the winds?

We’re too stressed, too hurried. Like the White Rabbit worrying about lateness, but more generally, time. We’re constantly worrying about missing out on something because there’s always something  happening. And it’s exciting that there’s always a fun thing to do anytime, but it’s just that for some reason, everything in the city is “important”. From the emails to the brunches. Yeah, even brunch holds a certain authority. Everything in the city seems to be an institution. But even so, everyone seems to be aware of it. Like we know not to take it too seriously.

But I just worry sometimes, as I gaze at the last stars in the sky, the ones under threat of disappearance by smog, that we will forget. We will forget to spend time watching ships as they go quietly by in the harbour. I worry that we will stop watching birds fly, that we won’t people-watch or contemplate the rain.

What I fear most though, is that we will stop admiring our place in the Universe. That our lives will be confined to this city and our gazes will never travel beyond its well-defined borders.

 


Note: This is Day 20 (!!!) of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. I’ve also written about the city before, so you can also check out this piece of writing here 🙂

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