I turned 29.
These days life is different on the other side. The lights are still bright, and the air still yellow with smog. We are subject to the weather as we always are. But the buildings huddle against each other like old men, and through the windows the dreams of thousands leak, like sunlight through the fog. The taxis wind their complicated chains through the city, their meters jumping through each traffic light like hoops, while the roads behind us close up like zips. The clouds are heavy and come from far away. The rain always promises to come, so we put some strange irrational faith in the weather forecasts, counting the days, but all that floats by is dark shadows and the water never comes.
The city is an ocean. Everyone merely beats the waves, against work, against time, against distance, against love. The boats toss. Our hearts follow and rush up and down with the sea.
Once in a while your heart diminishes and returns to reason. The hard drumming dies down to a calm tattoo, the fog clears, and you feel like turning away for a moment or two. Maybe there are other boats, other rivers, other seas. Other lands. Other shores. Sometimes you feel as if you could and as if you couldn’t, and sometimes even turning away leaves us with few places to go. We must find a boat and sail in it. There is no guarantee of shore. The sea remains. Would we burrow inward, through the city and its endless skyscrapers? But the streets are like jail corridors and there are no pots of gold, only more buildings, more rooms, more problems, more rivers to cross, at the end of the rainbow. Should we get out of here, and out of this city? Where would we go? How would we get there? Who knows? Now it must begin, that slow process. The tap must shut itself off, or someone might drown. Meanwhile we wait for the rain to come again. But like everything out of reach, it only comes when it wants to, not just because your senseless heart calls out for it. But the heart wants only what the heart wants.