Today at 8:30am I woke to the beating of rain on my window. Drew the blinds greeted with solemn grayish white clouds crawling in the sky. The American Elm, a sentinel standing guard, soaked luscious brown-black jutting into a ghostly daylight. Peered down East 7th street ending in a hazy stalemate, a swollen river its boundary. Sat at my desk with a jagged grin and read these befitting words to set my mind right for this forlorn New York day.
You tell yourself: I’ll be gone
To some other land, some other sea,
To a city lovelier far than this
Could ever have been or hoped to be
Where every step now tightens the noose:
A heart in a body buried and out of use:
How long, how long must I be here
Confined among these dreary purlieus
Of the common mind? Wherever now I look
Black ruins of my life rise into view.
So many years have I been here
Spending and squandering, and nothing gained.
There’s no new land, my friend, no
New sea; for the city will follow you,
In the same streets you’ll wander endlessly,
The same mental suburbs slip from youth to age,
In the same house go white at last -
The city is a cage
No other places, always this
Your earthly landfall, and no ship exists
To take you away from yourself Ah! don’t you see
Just as you ruined your life in this
One plot of ground you’ve ruined its worth
Everywhere now — over the whole earth?
- Constantine Cavafy: “The City”