When you cross the street in the city, it’s a dance. But it’s a special dance. It’s aggressive, calculated, graceful, zen. You are one with the pavement, dedicated with each step, mindful of every surrounding thing. And when someone comes at you, if someone challenges your step? Fuck em. This is your fucking city and they should part like the Red Sea for you are royalty here, the giving and taking hand of God at your disposal.
People are scared of the city for some reason. As if it’s an untamable beast, cutthroat and dirty. It is that sometimes, sure. A wild cacophony of desire, and purpose. But when you come with your purpose, and you are steadfast, you fold in.
It’s a zen place for me. I am the glass on the buildings, the honking horn, the shuffling shoulders, the worn edges of the sidewalk, the hanging sign, the bird shit covered statue, the attitude and the flow. I become one with this place, like water in a teapot. I don’t change, I am still water. But I shape to my surroundings.
This is both learned and natural, and I will teach you as I was taught. But this lesson will be taught by example, there is no book. We will log miles on foot, show you the landmarks, the orientation so you always know where you are and how to get where your going. Even I don’t know all the street names and which ones are one way and which ones aren’t, but I can still get wherever I want whenever I want because I know this place.
You will get to know the smells, the traffic, the food, the music, the glory. You will learn how to read people, whether they are in your face, or a block away with their back to you. Learn the tango of talking with a houseless person, how to position yourself in a restaurant, how to recognize when it’s time to leave. You will find your favorite places, the ones that make you feel at home. You’ll learn how to be safe, and how to control your destiny from one block to the next.
The City is not an untamable beast. It’s a river.
I will teach you how to swim.