It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change. With this and a myriad of dreams in mind, we leave the pianos playing melodies of infancy in the streets, the street-long tables serving sunshine under the flickering gas lamps, we leave looking for something more than that. The towering scrapers of steel and glass, which create a mesh of interwoven trees of power reflecting freedom.
It looks new, the rubbish you were used to is gone in an efficient waltz of regular cleaning machines, the timely untimeliness of the tube is replaced by a lullaby; ‘Please mind the gap between the train and the platform edge’.
It all costs so much, you tell yourself, surely it reflects my coming salary, a dream come true, to play among the giants of our time.
The long line of white houses stretching road after road as far as the eye can see herald a haven of uniform happiness, so far from the disorderly ifs and maybes of home.
Everything is perfect, everything is what you dreamed for, and the locals are so welcoming, always smiling, always ready to lend a hand.
The pianos have long been silent, the seat at the table has been occupied, and then you sigh a sigh of broken hope. The dreams you had, came at a cost.
You never knew how much the bill would be until you saw the reflection of freedom pass on those blocks of grey, nor did you realise that the cleanliness of the streets of the City echoes the emptiness of a desert on a weekend, void of life, of chaos, everything is controlled, methodically, like a dying patient.
The daily reminder to mind the gap, or to let others leave, even when there is no gap, or others, rings with the nonsensical tune of a bell that tolls every few heartbeats of every day.
The price tags on objects, food, water, people, are what they are, a monstrosity, with the beggar in the street shivering in the cold as revelers walk by worrying about what kind of drink will get them to a white bed fastest.
The giants you had dreamed of are replaced by walking zombies suited up walking in such a fashion as to profess their daily funeral marches, after all, it snows every day in grey city.
The fish scale copy-paste architecture extending as far as the eye can see makes you want to scream, possibly as much as the political correctness of offering help and never getting it, you see, the form is important, the form.
You survive, you do not live, that was the price you had to pay for the dreams you now wish you had never wanted to dream. You survive, and you have changed.
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