The Fascination of Foreign.

It’s the end of hectic day of work. Deadlines in 2 days. My boss is up against my neck. My finances are drying up. Rent is due, pay now or get kicked out. Meetings tomorrow. Meeting…with Rachel, yes Rachel! Crap, gotta cancel it. Cancel it? Or postpone it? I can’t think. Oh god. Your thoughts are clogging up your mind and reality starts kicking in as you search high and low for your house keys on your work desk. Ahhh, in my bag. Of course, should’ve looked there in the first place. You swing your handbag up against your left shoulder and make a run for the elevator.

The lift descends. 19…15…11… You think about how your life has become. You’ve worked hard, you’ve made sacrifices. You’re 21, you’re struggling with a job you don’t have passion for, -but you still continue anyway because it’s the only way moving forward. 10…9…8… On the sidelines you submit write-ups after write-ups to publications across the city, hoping for a callback. In addition to your drying finances you still want to ensure your folks experience a good retirement. 7…6…5… Your little sister’s still in high school, going through that same rebellious phase that you so vividly remember when you were 17. All you ever wanted was a break. A break from all of this, a break from reality. You know it’s possible, but it comes with a risk. 4…3…2… A risk you’re not willing to take. A risk you know may potentially save or break you. 1.

You head out the elevator and over to the coffeehouse across the road. You loved it there. It served your favourite caffeine-free hazelnut latte. You loved this time of day. It’s dusk, the New York sky is painted with a rich tone of orange and gold with a luminous glow peeking from behind the Empire State Building. The cars speed past the roads, the billboards lighting up the city with an iridescent white sheen, children running into the arms of their mothers as they come out from yellow school buses. People rushing home in their Ermenegildo Zegna suits and Chanel handbags, rushing past an old man dressed in rags holding up a sign that read ‘Unemployed. God save us all.’

Everything starts to slow down. Your ears start to drown out the beeping and honking and everything is at a standstill. Fascination. You’re amazed at how the windows of your eyes can witness the marriage put forth by these different elements that make up the city. As different as they are, you see beauty. Beauty in the simplest of things. How amidst your crazy life, you somehow find peace and solace in the beauty that emanates from the things around you, from things that are not you, from things that are – foreign. It’s funny isn’t it? That we find ourselves at peace with things that are not associated with us. You think being in the comfort of our homes would bring us the solace we need but instead, sitting alone in a coffeehouse along the streets and soaking in the spirit of the city somehow does the job way better. It’s only then you realise, that in distance you find peace. Perhaps, that’s your ‘break’.

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