City as weary as a tree that cries leaves. City on the edge of hopelessness, on the duckboard of despair. The pathos of a rushed existence, coupled with an addiction to shuffling. Manacled to the winter sun-dial, I tripped upon a field of transparent snow. Windows were curtained, dogs barked all night at the makkolli moon. Rubbish bins filled with mysteries and secrets. The scent of a cigarette smoked by the man in the dark overcoat walking ahead of you in the lane. The irresistible soundtrack of dance music bleating from the stacks parked out the front of discount stores. City of sock stalls. Orange tents that could be situated on a battlefield, soup kitchens for the passing crowds. Fatty fish spirals on skewers, paper cups filled with machine broth, its clouds like sheets of white mist that hit the face, drunk. Balloons kissing ceilings. Background noise on handphones, the tinny voices of disconnected souls. Sweet city, I will miss the memory of your hand in my pocket. I will miss your ineluctable dance moves. I will miss the temporary communities waiting at traffic lights. I will miss the community police boxes. I will not miss the pigeon catchers in the citizen’s parks. I will not miss the weird glances of passers-by. I will not miss the subway queues, the partly-constructed blast-doors, the shuddering punch of wind between skyscrapers. I don’t not know what else I will remember once I have left for another land on a beetle. You are Morgenland, the next chapter in my breathless correspondence with the world, hanging on to the tassels of this magic carpet, history. Dreaming at night of a new myth, featuring glad girls, hassled boys and everyone in uniform. Gazing upon the neon double of my eye, broken by the shimmer of hardware stores, singing rooms and architectural imaginations. Promised a dynamic experience, I find myself disappointed only with my own fear of failure, in another language. What else can I ask of you, city of repeating pleasures? City of dares and disbelief. City of strings, red tape and handshakes. City of wrists. Woven through with golden ribbons, city of mourning calm and sweet bread. Green tea, red buns, black night. Clothe me in the colour of my departure, then sew up my eyes with city needles, urban thread.

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