As Far as the Eye Can See

May 12, 2011
Images of my chaotic but extravagant surroundings penetrate even the darkness of my eyelids as I desperately search for a moment of peace. I can recall even the slightest of details around me, without a peek at all that lies beyond the security of my closed eyes. I notice the people, their faces, their emotion. I glimpse the buildings, their history, their detail. I see the street, its residents, its overlooked importance. I watch all the vivid details draw close to create a picture perfect image of the crowded city street.

No matter how I turn or which way I look, people are surrounding my still body in every direction, as far as my eyes can see. None of them look alike, each with a different agenda, a different emotion painted on their face. The businessman strides by with a straight face and cell phone to his ear. A writer is perched in a nearby cafe window, working on what may become a world-renowned classic. A homeless man is panhandling, with a pain stricken expression, for what may be the first meal of his week or simply fuel for an addiction. I will never know where any of them are going or what their lives consist of, but I will never be able to stop my mind from wondering.

Like the people, no two buildings resemble the other, each serving a purpose of its own. The aching in my neck can only be the result of straining to see the top of every building as it reaches for the sky. My thoughts soar in an effort to imagine all of the people who have passed through the many doors around me. Standing on the street, try as I might, I will never know the history or future of each structure, all that has taken place within their walls, and all that someday will.

The streets are a place where some of the most unlikely people converge in a closer proximity than they ever will again. Streets and sidewalks are not only critical to transportation but also the soul of life for many. I spot a man situated on a stool next to a table full of memorabilia from the city, beckoning every passerby to stop and take a look. The teenage lovers resting on a nearby bench taking in all around them while still getting caught up in a world all their own. The line at a hot dog stand builds and I know it is lunch hour as people fill the streets from every direction.

I am astounded by the countless details surrounding me and the fact that the city streets, buildings, and people would be nothing by themselves, but together create a scene of awe. The beautifully overwhelming image on the back of my eyelids ceases to amaze me as I take one more peaceful breath before venturing to open my eyes. Eager with readiness, my eyes fly open to absorb all around me; but in one life-changing second, my hopes shatter as I realize the charming image etched in the darkness of my eyelids was nothing more than a dream.





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