Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Living in an ocean of uncalm souls

But late in the afternoon you get this strange feeling that you are wanting something. You want everyone you know to feel well, and be happy. You want the world to be a better place. You just want everything to be alright. But nothing changes and you go on wanting as the roar of the city from over the tops of the buildings fades imperceptibly, tone by tone, into the eventual silence that you know will mean that it is night.

It's something like the feeling I had this morning when I was walking in a crowd of strangers over the pedestrian bridge that spans the highway and goes into the city. I felt that everyone looked the same, and I wanted to take on a different appearance, to dress in an outlandish fashion maybe, in order to break the concatenation of sameness that people were making in the streets. The feeling endured even after I came out of a pedestrian tunnel into a mall and the sign belonging to the large fashion brand that occupied the building presented itself to my eyes. In there, I thought, all these people who are dressed the same go to buy the clothes they want. It is because they actually want to feel the same as everyone else, and the company that satisfies that craving will benefit in the end.

I thought it might help if I had a tattoo made and affixed to some visible part of my anatomy. If I had a bird flying tattooed onto the back of my hand, a bird which passersby as they went by me could catch a glimpse of and that would make them think to themselves, "Not everyone has to look the same in this world. Maybe it would even make the world a better place if some people looked different."

And then as if by magic I thought of how when I was back living in Queensland for all those years I tried as much as possible to blend into the scenery in those lonely small-town streets because to stand out was to make yourself unnecessarily conspicuous. I thought how much my thinking had changed since I had moved south to the big city. Into this big city where I now live. Dreaming of a better place where before I only ever dreamed of living in the big city. Before. When I lived in that small town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Now the ocean seems so far away even though I can get to it in less than an hour if I want to. I live in an ocean of uncalm souls and I dream of a better world.

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