From the few emotions that I gather, I start to grow more and more confused. Actually it’s the clarity and carelessness that confuses me. Almost always, a foreign city brings up emotions in their purest form. I stare out the hotel room window into the dark void that’s being highlighted by countless lights and looming shapes against the dimmed sky. Cars as small as matchboxes, only distinguishable via their lights, move in predefined bends and straight lines. It feels like something is happening on the outside, but I’m perfectly content with looking at it from a distance.
Being above the city gives a sense of indifference, of perspective that I’d like to have handy in all kinds of situations when being at home. But it’s only a deep mood injected into my mind by the city’s artificial glow. Endless construction sites, luxury shopping malls all alike — extremes to both ends. Soaking in the false feeling of security, I am beginning to ask myself: how does one survive the chaos of this life? How are we able to collect the strength to push through? And then I wonder what lasting negative effects this particular city would have on me, if I was to stay more than a brief moment. Does it really pay off to be invisible?
Don’t get me wrong. I truly appreciate this city. Being here is a privilege that I would not dare to take for granted. But the responsibility it bears is something else entirely. Being here is never free. If it’s not the money, it is work. If it’s not work, it’s the bond of friendship, and if it’s not that, then there’d be no point being in such a weird place. Maybe it’s the centre of the world — the world moving around it, passing by. But I like to feel the pull of gravity. To be off the centre, just to expect the unexpected. The tide coming and going, giving the world a fresh touch every few hours. That’s what it means to be alive and well: not being in control, and being completely fine with it.
At the end of the day, control is something that we only impose on our limited capabilities of observation. The sooner I get over this, the more potential I can free for the wild ride out there. It’s almost time.