The City Sleeps

Lights are blinking in the distance, making eyes at the horizon as the night settles in. Far off in the distance sirens wail as I contemplate how the city will sleep tonight. If at all.

To me, I’ve never really bought the beauty of the night especially in a town like this. The dark skies are like ink; ever shifting. But even in the summer – when the air is warm and all the windows are open, the only sounds heard are of cars in the distance – I can never appreciate the abstract beauty of a world that is effervescent with neon.

The street lights shimmer as people go to and fro beneath them. Revellers gather in waves for a short time only to evaporate into the night. In the distance a bottle breaks, some people shout, the sirens start again. In a dark corner blood is spilled and sins of a multitude are committed. Eyes are on the floor when people gather together to blur the lines and congregate in queues to worship at loud alters. Only to end the night sinking as low as they can go.

Beauty does not lie in the inner city sprawl where we go to drink, laugh, and dance to cut loose. Nor does it exist in the suburbs, where families turn in early, or gangs stay up late. It doesn’t even exist down by the river as the hum of the city reverberates around the waterfront and the glow of the city bounces off the water.

The city, they say it never sleeps, that there is always something happening somewhere. But tonight, just like every other night I will sleep and the small part of the ocean I call my own in will turn in with me.


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