Another 30 Seconds of Urban Alienation

Buildings pierce the sky, and inside they are filled with people who are ever climbing to the top. Me? I am still walking down here at the bottom, hands shoved in pockets, not bothering to look up, or even straight ahead, but eyes shuttered down, on the ground, like a worrisome anticipation of my incoming future. Everything is gray when looking down, even though the sky shudders blue. Outside and up there I have heard about people, people who are different from me. I have heard about people who have tried and succeeded, or at least tried and gotten half way there, which is still better than where they started. I wonder if these people have heard about people like me, the ones who have fallen from grace. The ones who started out just okay but now walk down Broadway with blood full of booze and an empty stomach and an empty wallet. I wonder if they hear stories about me, grim, harrowing stories that they tell to their children in the dark as tomes of foreboding and “please do not grow up to be like that.” Perhaps my name itself is a perfect allegory for the other side of society, the slithering sinners who wear failure with pride because there’s nothing else to wear down here. I’m wet in the summer and hot in the winter because the fever of not belonging in a world like this is a sickness I will never be rid of. I am grey and sneezing and coughing and utterly alone on some sullen street corner, afraid to look up just for a moment because I am terrified to see everything I could have been staring back down at me and crushing me with its inaccessibility. So I look away, just as I always do, and hope that it will be fine for now.