Walking these streets every night. People tell me I should go to a bar, enjoy the warmth of camaraderie.
But I tried that, and it worked for a little while. Got to admit that the fur of booze can make you feel better about things — at least take the edge off and smooth it down for a bit.
And the conversations were good for a bit, too.
Until you realize that the same assholes were telling the same stories, and it hit you as you looked in the mirror behind the bar at the reflection of the guy sitting next to you who’s looking at you saying in his scratchy-record voice, “Hey, you don’t have to believe me, but it happened. I’m telling you, it really, really happened.”
You gaze at his reflection and smell his boozy breath and think, I don’t fucking care. I’ve heard this story a hundred times, and I don’t give a flying fuck if really, really happened or not.
And so, the streets. You can say that the streets are same old, same old. Same streets in the same city. But you’d be wrong.
Because even though the people go into the same buildings up to their apartments, they’re different. They tell different stories with their eyes. Stories that they haven’t crafted for boasting in a bar. Stories of their lives.
You only have a second to catch that story. Not even a second. A half second. Maybe even less.
But the stories are there. Right in their eyes.
And it gives me a purpose. After I retired and after my sweet Sophie died, I grew crazy being alone in the apartment. TV is full of bullshit that sucks your brain cells. Same with bars.
So I turned to walking streets, and it gives me a purpose. Seeing the lives around me. Feeling like I’m a part of something.
The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.