It’s easy to lose touch with the World from within a city. The sun, sea, sand, hills and stars. The scaffolds that hold the Earth, they all fade in the background, when you’re wandering endlessly in middle of long traffic, surrounded by lights, noise and empty shells of people. Here in the city, we compress the world, put it through the compactor and produce a concrete, compact version of what we want, a cosmopolitan structure of our desire and lust with no regard for what we need. We filter the rest and scatter them around like crumbs, to give us a trickle of what is outside. A small garden in the backdrop of an office block to make us feel one with nature. Tiny water fountains to give us the sense of waterfalls. A rustic café to make us feel the village but not want to live in it.
This city hasn’t been the same for a while, it’s in a state of forced hibernation. I can hear its angry calling, wanting to be awoken from this deep sleep that it has been induced into. Like a caged bear, it’s fighting to get out. I cycled through Aldgate this week, in the dark hours of the early evening. I passed the haunting tall empty office blocks gaining dust, ghost of their former selves, lights still on, burning in rage to remind us of their might, but nobody is home.
I miss the city, I miss getting lost in the crowd, to be alone and immerse in a world within a world, but still have the luxury of people around you. Where you can wander for hours and not have anyone question why? Sitting down with a coffee and observing everyone. The old, the young, the couples, the tourists, the happy and the sad. Drifting in and out of through vehicles that never stop giving, onto the streets that never stop taking.
The world at my fingertips, with a simple row of street providing more food from around the globe then one would ever visit in their lifetime. A world where you can come out of your house with just a phone and buy everything you need. A world, not so long ago, where I was able to run in the streets, grab food and drink and sit through a whole new simulation everyday, not a single day the same.
I miss being lost. It’s in the middle of this sense of loss you find out who you are and your place in this paradox. I looked at the tall structures, if the walls could talk? I know what it would have said. It yearns for people, just like we do. It rages to engulf us all again, rip our souls and tear us to shreds. A sleeping giant- all rage, now on the verge re-awakening.
I feel its pain and get ready to be eaten. I just want to get lost again, jump into the abyss. Sit down on the curb and have my coffee. In this wilderness of the city is where I am the most free.