cities and denial

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Venice was once beautiful, built atop a foundation of water. The city’s inhabitants traveled in boats to get to wherever they needed to be. The water was Venice’s muse, for what is an artist without his inspiration? That was long ago. Today, the drought that began in northern Italy spread to all parts of Europe, and Venice lost its water. At first sight, the view is appalling. Buildings are decaying, bridges are breaking, and churches start to decompose. The happy laughter and giggles of small children are replaced by ominous shrieks and cries in the distance, demanding identification. Screams of madmen attempting to steer boats where there is no water echo from afar. The lovely scenery tourists trample each other to set eyes on is now so horrid to look upon. Every major landmark, the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, Campanile di San Marco, all seem to be horrible emblems of death. Each rotting, similar to the way a corpse would if it were left out in the sun for a day. The smell was comparable as well. The wondrous aromas of Italian food replaced by the persistent odor of year old vomit are enough to drive Venice’s inhabitants even madder.



The city is completely chaotic, with everyone living in a world of their own. The water that used to be there seemed to bring every aspect of the city together, making the big picture look complete. The water is the seaming that ties Venice together, and helps every feature become one. Alone, the city is a makeup stain on the blouse of the universe. Bright colors, neon, and rainbows are nowhere to be found in Venice. Colors flee in terror at the madness and complete chaos of the city. The city is as black and white as an old TV’s picturing. The mad inhabitants do not notice this mere detail of their everyday life. They are too busy pretending their world is the same, unaware that the clocks of time are ticking and their beloved water has still not returned.



To journey through the city is to get a glimpse of lunacy, insanity and hopelessness. Everyone who has not yet gone insane has some sort of job in the city; all stores remain open. Restaurant owners and pizzeria workers desperately and miserably await customers to sell food to, food that is long expired and tasteless. They have no motivation to keep the people happy, for they are miserable themselves, with nothing to live for anymore. A dejected sigh is usually followed by shrill, suppressed crying in the distance, and people wonder, who are these people suppressing their tears? Why not just go out and cry? Everyone else here does.





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