Victor.

Today, noontime delight came in the form of crisp October air that made its way into the hollows of my chest. The blue sky yielded to gray clouds burdened with rain. I am grateful for the reprieve from the daunting dampness of a world in turmoil.

Today, my soul is less welcoming than usual, evading familiar eyes with a fervor. I am grateful for the chance to sit in my silence a little while longer.

Today, my heart is especially heavy – coasting in a spiral of never-ending autumn gloom. I am grateful for the brokenness that welcomes nurturing slivers of light.

Today, tawdry Christmas songs invade my calm, while unsuspecting pedestrians stain my once evergreen periphery. Still, I am grateful for the little trespasses that remind me I am not alone.

Today, I made my way back to my cubicle unfulfilled. The world can be a cacophony of screams and my emotions can be too loud for my body. I am grateful for the solitude.

Today, I have lost some weight by some effort to stave off my usual poisons; by some futile attempts to run away from my usual spectres. Regardless, I am grateful for my verve.

Today, I am made weary from fighting – but I still made room for the quiet shifts of my joy. I am grateful for my bouts of hope.

Today is another impossible battle won.

Thriving on concrete.

On the 9th floor of a 10-storey building smack in the middle of the bustling IT park, I find refuge from the corporate barrage of tasks and small talk in the handicap stall of the women’s bathroom. This unassuming oasis comes with a window pane a little too high for my liking, but has nonetheless blessed me with a view of the life below — a surprisingly pleasant mix of trees, sea, and concrete. From above, the buildings look out of place as if they were fighting for attention against nature’s calm incandescence. I stare into its splendor for as long as standing on tiptoes permits. How wonderful would it be if I was just a few inches taller?

I make my way below for sustenance and some solitude. Life on the ground is lackluster at first glance. Depending on your worldview, you will find either concrete prisons or architectural havens for hopefuls who seek fuller lives beyond what they can find in the domestic. Looking up from the umbrage, the blue and white sky glistens, unbothered by the staggering giants that block out the beating sun. How wonderful is the shade?

Life in this city teems with chaos and wonder, feeds me bits and pieces of human chagrins and eccentricities in forkfuls. In this theater, I am the adoring spectator — once removed from partaking, but close enough to witness, smell, taste, love, infuriate. It is during these moments when I transcend my inner world and live in tangible tandem with earthly glory and constructs. How wonderful is this existence?

Life is as scintillating as it is mundane. People often retreat to the curated worlds of their own design. To my left is a girl in a loose sweater, hair unkempt. She walks about and projects nonchalance for her looks, but her well-drawn brows and cherry lips give her away. How often do we pretend not to try?

To my right are meandering children forming what looks to be their earliest clique — the girl who has the food wields the power. You would do well to please this fickle epicurean queen. How wonderful would it be to live this deliberately?

As soon as I lose myself in my voyeuristic daze, a sylphlike figure taps me on the elbow and wishes me an enjoyable time with my thoughts. Must be a colleague, I thought. We have never been this proximate, she has never sent a wink my way. The only indication of our shared association can be found by virtue of our identical lanyards. How wonderfully kind humans can be.

Just when I was convinced that I was merely an onlooker living on a foreign plane, I am suddenly made aware that this theater of life is an immersive spectacle made richer because I am also in it. How wonderful it is to be alive.

🍃✨