Years ago he’d found his unity in this diversity.
He mainlined once more into the slipstream of life that coursed its way through the capital, it ignited his liberation without a thought or care. There appeared a welcome inexhaustible energy that spun and weaved its way amongst the masses—fresh with allure it stunted the jaded familiarity of the everyday life. Here his imagination sparked and cracked, never stagnant in yesterday’s memory. It always appeared to move forward at a pace and without much thought for tomorrow.
The couple sitting on the steps below yielded to each other’s rapture with a communication that needed no explanation, tender oblivion encapsulated a delight that blocked intrusion. The rumble and lift off of the skateboarder an arms length away bore no impact. Not even the clatter of her battered board skittering on the concrete, the urban shatter just part and parcel of everyday life, get up, stand up, move on.
The beggar mingled with the masses attempting to part with the final copy of his Big Issue, a jester to some, but a juggler of emotions overall, this human chameleon had hidden depths that appeared resilient to rejection, grateful in every sense to those who reimbursed his exuberance.
The real loner he thought seemed to be the suit who brushed aside all that stood in his way. For the suit was listlessly working its way forward hanging on an empty spirit, void of life and lost in self-importance.
As he looked up at the formidable buildings that stood in the distance on the other side, he reflected on how they still had the power to enchant him. The sturdy towers solidified ambition. Densely packed, each individual pane of glass seemed to spark with life; all buzzed with the excitement of a fairground attraction. This reinforced the stage of life below and he could now appreciate the theatricality for what it was. He could appreciate the difference.
Older and wiser he had realized the flip side of the theatrical mask and how he’d allowed himself to be swept by the tide. It had soothed the melancholy and the banging drum of his past, but in it he’d forsaken the natural rhythms of life and overlooked the beauty of the present. Now he realized the dangers of not standing still long enough to fully comprehend the impact of the next step. In the Capital, one could afford to side step on the sidewalk, for these served as the stepping-stones of life. Nevertheless, all was bound and embroidered deep in his life and he felt richer for the experience.
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Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: elephant archives