June 18, 2023

Coming back to the city is always an interesting experience. Leaving is stressful because of the traffic but you eventually end up far enough away that your shoulders relax without you realizing it. Returning, the tension builds up slowly, a crescendo played by the streets of the city.

While out of town, the rhythm changes, routines are off. It’s easier to stay up a bit later and harder to sleep as well. The darkness without the city lights creates a mistrust. In the city, it’s the people you trust less. The lights are always on.

It takes some time before your pace slows and your steps shorten, making it easier to walk. There’s nowhere in particular to go and you’ve got more time to get there. Time opens itself up for you.

Still, the city draws you back. Tugging at you. Before long, you miss the conveniences that keep you busy. It’s easier to get groceries. You don’t spend as much time looking for things to do, largely because it takes longer for you to do what you have to. Time passes quickly. Your restlessness is rewarded.

Your anonymity is better protected when you’re surrounded by so many people. The city moves around you while you move through it. The cost of this solace is your calm. Every now and again, you have to leave to reorient yourself.


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