The city: the sights, the sounds, the smells. Not a town, like the small place I once was forced to call home. Not a village, like the places the train stops in on it's way from here to there. No, this is the city – my city – and I know in my heart of hearts that there is nothing that can compare to it. You can walk for hours in every direction and still be surrounded by buildings, people, stories. For really, that's what a city is – a library of people. There's all different types of genres: comedy and romance; drama and tragedy; action and thriller. Each and every person is here for a reason, even if it's just because they have nowhere else to go. A businesswoman, rushing to get everything done on time while trying to keep her marriage from falling apart. An elementary school student who has to be walked to school each day because the streets aren't safe anymore. A diplomat, working towards the betterment of her nation even though by doing so she has to ignore some of her personal morals. An immigrant, trying to make a life for himself in this foreign country by driving a taxi cab. And finally, a recent university graduate who arrived with big dreams and an open heart, only to find that life in the city isn't quite as easy as she imagined. The city isn't gentle, nor is it kind, but perhaps that is one of the reasons I love it. I love the scars on the sidewalks, the graffiti on the buildings, and the dodgy alleyways just as much as I love the open spaces in the park and the brilliant shops that light up the squares during the night. Like its inhabitants, the city is always changing, progressing, amassing history. So as I sit in my little studio apartment and look out into the nighttime glow, I'll remember that I am not alone. I am part of the city, and for now, that is all I need.
Ode to a City
February 26, 2012