To be perfectly honest, I'm not really a city boy; nor am I a country boy. If that contradiction doesn't make sense to you, let me explain. I'm a man of extremes, I love the solitude of the deep country and the ocean, miles and miles away from anyone but me, the water and nature. Or, I love the hustle and bustle of the city, not the little city or the mid-sized city, but the big city, Montreal, Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, you know, the "city".
I completed this piece today, and obviously, the city is on my mind. The thing about cities is this, each one is pretty much the same, lots of people, lots of buildings, etc, but each one is completely different too. Each one has a feeling, a vibe to it. I won't tell you which city this one is, I want you to guess, and you can, and I encourage you to, submit your guess in the comments. This one, is a city after a hard rain, you can still smell the hot asphalt melting into the cool water as the torrent slowed to a drizzle. It's dark, and the lights from the shops, apartments, streetlights, etc all twinkle in the droplets of water falling from the sky, each picking up the colour of their origin as they do. I walk quietly, It's really only me, apparently the other city dwellers don't fancy walking in the rain. I can smell a million smells, each the same and each so very different, there are families cooking the food of their homelands, Indian, Pakistani, Greek, whatever; there are university kids baking $4 pizzas, and there are the rest of us, making a chicken or some sausages. It all smells delicious. And in between the smells of the food, I can smell the laundry, some delicate and soft, others, using way too much of that artificial "never ending fresh scent crap" that makes me cough as I continue my stroll. And I hear the soft laughter and conversation through slighty open windows, happy families, students lamenting their midterms, couples making up and breaking up. A frantic woman runs out of a brownstone, she asks me if I've seen Buddy, her fat black cat with a white belly. I haven't, but I assure her I will bring him home, should I see him, the city streets are no place for a housecat, after all. There's something about this place, the people, the smells, the feeling, especially on this rainy night, that makes me feel so good, so alive, so part of something larger than myself.