City, please be gentle with me. Be kind when I close my eyes and the pitch black becomes starry neon lights. Be sympathetic when I ride the streetcar alone, when I fall on the sidewalk and bust my knee open, when I descend wobbly stairs into basement bars illuminated with glowing red lights.
There are streets lined with Internet cafés, shadowy music halls and hole-in-the-walls that all house anonymity. I feel like a very small anonymous blip on your ever-growing radar.
Our necks twist and turn as we leer to recognize a familiar face. We pick fresh fruit from the market stands; cars whiz by and I hear a bicycle bell in the distance. Dead fish rest in storefront windows and people shuffle by. Everybody is hastily going about their own business.
I’ve given you a year of my life, and I’m not sure how much more I have left to give. City, please be gentle with me.