by Alexandra Turner Jul 8, 2017
A city can be inspiring, an unending, relentless landscape for creativity and enlightenment. It is the height of human interaction, an existence that forces you to interact and bond with your fellow human. You can find insight easily simply by stopping and watching, allowing the city to breathe, to move around you while you remain still and centered. However at the same time, it can also be a source of crushing anxiety, loneliness and fear. You can find yourself depending on others around you, becoming attached to their ambitions, their fears, their anxieties. You are no longer you, but a being in comparison to others. Outer and inner value become a measure upon yourself and others. We move through crowds like shadows, no longer interacting other than on a surface level, a sense of urgency hindering us from actually experiencing, living.
A city depends upon on life, upon people, their motivations, their ambitions and fears, nature relies on the utter absence of humanity. It is life at its core, existing entirely without our existence. It renews and revives.Where the rain turns the grassy meadows into small lakes, small frogs croaking from muddy sandbars. The air is fragile, the quiet broken only the baying of a lone crow in a pine tree. In the darkness, the woods devour everything, leaving only the stars, the moon and the flickering of a passing airplane perhaps. Trees line the edge of a every area of civilization and you find yourself wondering that if you kept walking, would you just disappear as if you never existed? The world ends with pine, and oak and leaves that dance like flames under breath.
Ever wonder what it feels like to be alive, when nothing ever changes? A subtle monotone hums in the background of an uneventful life. A quiet train rumbles through grey halls, a crowd of silent statuaries stare down at glowing rectangular boxes. In and out, mannequin with dull eyes, leave and enter the train, shuffling away from each other's plastic touch. Don't look around. Don't stare, its rude. Catching someone's eyes, I pretend to watch my screen so not to seem threatening. The train lurches and one of the mannequins stumbles, letting out an unsightly yelp. Startled gazes swivel to disturbance, observing with cool disinterest. A few words and the mannequin rights itself. Silence resumes.
Click, click, click upon the dull white linoleum; shiny heels reflect perfectly positioned hair, a practiced smile, a blameless stare. Enter one tall building, smile. Your smile slips away with each new room. Your fingers get used to every task you are given. Tapping, tapping, tapping, I type out miles of words that mean nothing to me. I find myself staring at a frozen computer screen for far too long. What's this? A new task, boss? Sure, I got. Ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty. Done. Here you go. What's next? Lunch? Yes, I'll leave in a minute. It's raining? I didn't even know. Where has the day gone? Florescent lights make us forget sunlight. I shiver in this artificial cold. Time to leave. Rain falls like pellets upon my frozen skin. Glasses blurred, I can't see. I find myself back in those empty tunnels. Shoving myself across metal turnstiles, crowding amongst the other derelicts, waiting, waiting once again. We move like waves upon the sand, pulsing forward to some common destination. I don't see the person's next to me. Everyone could just be the same for all we know. When you don't recognize that face, is there any difference? Every time I breathe, I suffocate.