where i live

(first posted on Whitechapel)

I live in a city of transience - of seasonality. It shows the slippage of time, to watch the waves of people in and out each year. Another graduating class, another year of my life. Here, a block from the school which I'll never attend, I watch.

I've learned a few things from living here. People really don't give a fuck what you do. They don't care how you dress, they don't care what you mumble, they don't care where you've been and they sure as fuck don't care where you're going. It's a liberating thing.

Sometimes in the evenings a low fog will settle across everything. The streetlight yellow diffuse glow is unearthly. The experimental gardens and their halogen lights look like a greenhouse spaceship.

I walk through the giant park that is the center of this city, among the temples to higher learning, and hear everyone on their cellphone. Snippets and pieces. Plans for evening, who will go home to their parents house. Who is failing. Who is concerned that thier girlfriend is cheating. The most serious of trivialities.

Yesterday a man was mugged at gunpoint outside of my boyfriend's house, a few blocks from me. I was surprised - and I don't know why. Only a few blocks South, it wouldn't have been anything to me. But this is my home, my turf. These are the blocks I wandered late at night, in various states of mental undress. In a word, I felt safe.

In the summer when it grows quiet and still, the heat of the day lifts the smell of grass everywhere. The clock tolls, even with so few to hear it. In Fall another pressing wave of humans, anxious for their future to arrive.

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