The smells of stovetop coffee brewing, fresh croissants and baguettes; cheese is taken for granted, wines are gurgled and decanted, flavours are criticised and slanted, yet all is done in the graceful way that god had wanted. The joys and pleasures are endless, cheap and difficult to hide from; man fills his belly with drink and food, before he even feels the notion of thirst and/or hunger. The outliers, outcasts and outsiders see her for what she is, but don’t have the courage to say it, the insiders are plentiful and have become so without intention or awareness. She takes you in as soon as you lay eyes on her, as soon as you take your first breath of her intoxicating and polluted air and she leaves you so impressed with her ability to elegantly and lightly move, she sets a heavy imprint with the heel of her palm on your throat, an unfamiliar sensation that leaves you temporarily winded and keeps her permanently in the depths of your memory. She’s home to the immigrant, the migrant, the drug pedlar, the dusty nosed and the beautifully unaware.
I pedal, I skip, I turn, I stare, I am an individual mesmerised by a jungle of bricks, mortar and asphalt covered in beautiful wrapping and sprinkled with glitter. In this prison built of egocentric desires I remain in an unfavourable state of distraction; distracted from viewing the depths of my soul, because one’s spiritual endeavours are put to halt by being forced to constantly engage in the whirlwind of activities that require little to no spiritual mindfulness in the hope to maintain one’s place within a society. Yet I find some solace and the brightest of silver linings and like a worm I immerse myself in it.
The gathering of souls joined together by mutual childhood memories and kept interesting by different adult presents, laughter and empathy, support and letting be, community and solidarity, their struggles are made all the sweeter by knowing that they don’t have to fall asleep in the solitude of their own cold apartments, they can choose to stay… I have. Their wet faces in the morning and reluctance to do what they know is best, the dragging of the feet and cigarettes all lightened by a morning embrace and a peer’s hand softly placed on another’s chest; “you got this.”. These are my friends and this the way they lead their lives and I appreciate it all.
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves” – Victor Hugo
Until we meet again and embrace my free, equal and generous brothers and sisters.