An uneasy feeling runs through the city like a thick fog. People waiting, not knowing, with no understanding of the future, or what it holds. They sit in their coffee shops, shielded by the glass as they look out in to the unkown, purposefully unaware of the struggle outside. Behind the façade of pristine waterfalls, and lush grassy fields lies a problem that nobody cares to see: A cave of uncertainty. Dark and lonely are the people inside.
Clouds fill the skies overhead as I walk down barren streets, peering down alleys and around corners, looking for any sign of life. I stand on the leeward side of a concrete column, a relic of a dying industry. The arctic breeze permeates the city, ever present and always near, chilling to the core. It’s inescapable.
The sun rises further in the sky. City life quietly moves unseen around me. The hum of distant traffic is an undertone while melodic birds sit on the wires above. Occasionally the sound of conversation will float by; but it’s rarely locatable, always somewhere off in the distance, as if just around the corner; a whisper on the wind.
I start to notice people scurrying around like rats in a maze, avoiding the bitter-cold wind outside. The empty streets become a canvas for life. I wait patiently for someone to walk by. My face and hands go numb from the cold. From down the street, a young man walks briskly uphill toward a nondescript building. Walking with intent, he passes in front of me. A brushstroke. One moment in time captured. His feelings and emotions are immortalized.
Spring is closing in. Walking further from the ocean, I notice that the beautiful architecture no longer towers above. Instead, drab government housing becomes commonplace. Garbage is littered about in the nooks and crevices of the city. Graffiti is plastered high up the walls of apartments.
Tucked in between worn houses, hidden from the wind, children line up along a wall as they listen to music and smoke cigarettes. Corrugated metal bounces the sun’s rays as they bask in the afternoon light. Their talk is light hearted, youthful, but it inevitably shifts and the mood changes. Their park is going to be demolished and replaced with a senior citizen’s center, one boy says. Sullen looks sweep across their faces. They quietly soak up their memories, taking in the sights; the street art, the trees, the shade, the anxiety of a youth struggling to make a place in the world.