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Angie took a deep breath, looked around at the tiny little room she was in for the last couple of hours, had a nice look at her friends who seemed to enjoy their times, and decided to go for a walk. It was late at night but she couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t stand another minute in that place. The place was crowded, the music was very loud, the cigarettes were filling the place and she felt like smoking more than 2 boxes of cigarettes in the last 2 hours. Everything in her was urging her to leave, to desert this place, to move, to do something. Every cell of her body, every beat of her heart, was calling and was screaming for her to leave.

She put her jacket on and started walking. The street – a very well known street, in the City of Angels – was packed even at this time. It was almost midnight and she remembered the hassle she had to go through in order to find a place to park her car. She had to go in circles with her friends to find a place to… dump her car.

As soon as she stepped out of the tiny pub, she felt the breeze on her cheeks and she could at last breath… breath this fresh air… The music was still playing in her head. She passed across a large number of people who were walking, drinking, talking, dancing and singing… Some of them were from the area, others were strangers and were only visiting for a day, for a night or for a short stay. Some were sober, others were drunk. Some were beautiful, others were ugly. Some were happy, some were sad. Some were talking, others were listening. Some were present in body and soul, others were absent minded. She walked across a couple who were arguing, but she couldn’t sense any sense in what they were saying. She passed along other 2 girls who were talking and she couldn’t help herself from shrugging at the subject they were discussing: money, and shopping and shopping and shopping. She passed along another young couple who were talking about “transparency” in a relationship, the guy wanted to know more about the phone calls his “girlfriend” was receiving. He actually wanted a “full report” of her personal life. Now that he is dating her, he “had the right to KNOW”.

She walked and walked looking at the old buildings and wondering how the residents of this neighborhood can actually sleep at night with all this loud music and all those shinning lights. Even in the street, she felt like being in a big large night club.

Faces looked empty, words seemed chaotic, the place seemed unreal and excessively denuded from any sense.

She kept asking herself what she was doing in this part of the city and why she agreed to come her in the first place. “Is this what life is all about?” She asked herself. “Is this what life is all about? Spending hours in a tiny place with strangers who are smoking, drinking, dancing and pretending to lead a meaningful enjoyable conversation? Is this the meaning of life? Why do people go to such places? To forget? To live? To have a great time? To de-stress? To relax? Since when relaxing and removing stress is done in a crowded noisy tiny place? Where is the fun in being jammed in such a place?

She walked for 10 minutes, then for 20 and finally she reached the end of the street and she knew that she would need to return. The street was packed with cars and with passengers. She tried to shut her ears and to listen… to concentrate on a nice melody she had heard earlier before all this episode started. It was difficult to concentrate with all this noise and with all this loud music. Some guys – probably drunk – started making remarks… She wasn’t able to listen to what they were saying. They were probably harassing her. She walked faster, crossed the street, tried to walk under the light, and to stay with other groups… The voice in her head, was urging her, to walk faster: “Just walk, just walk… You are doing great… Look in front of you and walk…”

And suddenly her phone rang…

(Thank you 🙂 )

(By Zeina Gabriel)

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