There’s something about a shower the day after a night out in the city. It’s as if you can feel the night literally washing off of your skin; the essence of the district dripping from your matted hair and circling down the drain. Moments like these make me realize how great it is growing up in the city. I’ve never experienced an alternative lifestyle but somehow I know there’s no better. I couldn’t imagine how young adulthood would be if I didn’t live footsteps from metropolis.
Eager, young souls filing into the trains; the familiar smell of cigarette smoke and sewer gunk wafting through the streets; rows and rows of architecture dormant during the day now filled to capacity with life; the luring hum of music and adrenaline racing down tight stairwells and pulsating out into the sidewalks. There’s no other venue more perfect to hoard so many levels of diversity that exist in such sync- the strips of doors, bars, floors, and windows all different in size and material; heels in every height and color dancing to music of every genre; spirits pouring into glasses, sloshing onto jackets and, ideally, flowing into bloodstreams. The combinations are infinite- like those paper dolls with interchangeable, self-designed clothes that you can paste into different sceneries doing different things- only it all happens in multitudes within this giant grid of concrete, asphalt, brick and mortar. This is the city on any given night. And after everyone’s gotten their fix of gin and attention, grabbed a bite to eat, and stumbled into a train or taxi, they all climb into their beds- whether alone or together- and eventually awaken; their groggy heads, angry stomachs, and clothes-strewn floors some of the first reminders of the night before.
Which leads me back to where I started: the morning-after-shower. The hot water shedding last night’s skin and sending it down the drain, giving me the perfect moment to recollect the last few hours of my life; recalling where I went, re-tasting what I drank, and trying to calculate how much the fuck I spent; remembering conversations with strangers and getting lost on 14th and mindlessly typing away at my phone having conversations which are now completely illegible. And as I wash the stars from my eyes and the smoke from my hair and the last bits of the night float away, I marvel at the thought of the thousands of people doing the same things at the same moment.
The city is a magical thing. It doesn’t just exist; it inhales and exhales and dances and makes love. I don’t know where I’ll be in five or ten years, but I know it will always be amongst numbered streets and state avenues. Here’s to next weekend and the rest of our lives.