It was evening, and sporadic rainfall punctuated hours of balmy heat, like ellipses of an early autumn day, uncertain in the shift of dusk if summer would continue. The weather left a glassy polish on the street that hurried sharp across its pavement rapid shards of over-saturated red and yellow light, bright beneath the sagging veil of creamy greying blue. Buildings carved the overcast in peaks and plateaus, making valleys of the streets in which the traffic flowed and halted as I watched the steam from storm drains rise and fade like ghosts and slowly walked so as to breathe in tandem with the climbing fog.
All the voices bled together in an anxious laugh above the hums and purrs of cabs and busses, the rhythm of a cable train’s electric twinges echoing like voltage sparks on pavement. Somewhere in cacophony there’s room for meditation. Somehow in the bedlam of the city’s pulse I moved alone unshaken and removed as if estranged and strangely vacant.
A set of eyes to meet my own along a street I’d never traveled; a façade of windows occupied by watchers I would never see who see me step by step approach a street of broken lights reflected. And I walked alone amid a thousand different names and faces, unaware of one but understanding each and moving through them, swimming in the thick of sodden air and drunk with tropic evening light and rain-soaked voices. I walked an unfamiliar in the current under city smells and found my home again, because the voices and the lights, they never change.