2021.12.15 - big city small boy

listening to: 39N - ibe

i'm typing this from a room in a cheap hotel where the corridors smell like chlorine. i don't dare play music out loud because you can hear everything that goes on through the paper-thin walls. i heard my room neighbours walking down the hallway, chatting right outside my room, and for a moment i thought they were going to come right into my room, that's how close they sounded. it's an uncomfortable intimacy in such an anonymous city.

there's something cold about capital cities. literally, but also figuratively. people don't give a fuck about you here. i went into a shop and greeted the shopkeeper, as you do. he plain ignored me, and ignored me when i said thank you and goodbye as well. the only time he acknowledged my existence was when he was sullenly scanning my items and telling me my total. you walk past people and they don't notice you at all. sometimes that's nice, but sometimes it makes you feel invisible, like you're nothing.

i like it here, though. i like it for a quick weekend break; i wouldn't live here. for one, it's expensive, and for two, the isolation would fuck up my mental health even more than it already is. i like looking at all the people, all the types who mill about here living their everyday lives. you've got the fashionistas, the effortlessly-stylish young professionals, you've got the middle-aged businessmen, you've got the hipsters and the alternative kids, you've got the young families, you've got the old ladies with their knitted scarves and shopping bags on wheels. i like the way they speak here. it reminds me of the way my uncle speaks. i like how cheap the public transport is. we've taken endless buses on a day ticket. i like how many shops there are. round where i live, there's not much of a selection, but here you've got everything. every kind of food, every kind of fashion. there are dozens of shitty souvenir shops, totally forgettable and all exactly the same, and i love them. it's a real experience, being here. i don't know if i'll come back anytime soon, but it's good just to say i've been.

i sat on the top deck of the bus and listened to 39N through my headphones and looked out at the black night sky and the rain falling against the windowpane. i remembered how it feels to feel alive. it's nice.