How did it get like this? How did it all get so quiet? I walked along by the river again this morning and everything seems so lonely. Not me, I am not lonely, but the city, it is lonely. It has no people to keep it company. The big wheel is still and solitary and it is getting rusty. The ferries sit at the docks waiting for passengers that never come. The wind blows right through the riverside restaurants and bars that used to be filled with Friday night revellers. If I close my eyes, I can see them all there again. I can remember getting off the ferry all dressed up with my hair done and my makeup on ready for a night out with my friends, eager in anticipation of what the night might hold, the whole city bustling with life.
I remember sitting at a bench by the river looking over at the pier. It felt like I was watching a memory. It felt like the last time I would see it that way. I don’t think I will ever see it that way again.
Tables and chairs are knocked over now and no one has bothered to pick them up. Some of the windows are smashed and there is glass on the floor. That restaurant was where I had my leaving lunch with the people from my temp job.
I kissed a handsome Belgian boy over there with a French accent on my birthday. He was beautiful. Different thoughts were going through my head then. There was not this dull sadness that hangs over me now.
How busy we all were: working, running, cycling, eating, shopping, dancing, smoking, drinking, travelling and living.
We passed thousands of people every day that we did not notice. I loved people watching: standing in line for the ferry watching a young couple on a first date; overhearing another couple having a domestic dispute; teenagers messing around with each other, one quiet one paying attention to something else; men in suits, wondering what their jobs were – a banker, a lawyer, a salesman?
It is the simple things that you miss – the everyday things that you didn’t think about at the time: driving to work with my music on, singing along, the sun shining and the clouds rolling over the blue sky; that Friday feeling when work is over and you had enjoyable things planned like meeting friends and eating out; wandering around the shops looking at clothes you might never buy; sitting by the pool lost in a book, idling away time because there was all of the time in the world.
There is still time now, it does not run out, they were wrong when they said that. There is none of the other stuff though, the ordinary, everyday stuff, the stuff that I thought was so mundane; the living. I never thought I would ever be sad about it, but I am. It is the people I miss, the people getting on with their own lives without a thought for me – funny that I should miss them.