Thursday, October 31, 2013

Night and the City

A dialogue

 -After all this time together, you must acknowledge the obvious: we have become utterly, tragically  incompatible!
 -Why do you say that? Do you want to leave me? Could you do that? After I have given you my best centuries?
 -But, dear, you have changed so much! Every time I come to you I find you transformed, almost unrecognizable: sometimes looking like a Harlot, sometimes like a fairytale Princess… What do you want me to do?
 -What do I want you to do? I want you to accept me as I am, mercurial if you say so, magician… That’s what you used to call me, remember? Magic, bewitching, always surprising, never, never boring!
 -No, not boring, that’s for sure. Listen, dear… This is not a life anymore. I need peace and quiet. I need, first of all, shadows, I don’t need lights, four thousand, ten thousand kilowatts as soon as I appear, and this only in one of your Squares??
 -Oh, I see… you need shadows, and my children be damned, mugged, assaulted, killed if need be… because you need shadows. Who’s to defend me, then, from a swarm of shadowy characters, from…?
 -And then, I need silence: if anything, interrupted by the wind in the tree branches, the crickets in the bushes, the sea waves lapping the shore…
 -You’re turning gaga, I see. Old.  How much older than me?? But,  you loved me when we first met!
 -Indeed, we loved each other! You were always in turmoil, I admit that. Receiving ships from the East, sending your children to the West; changing your outfit every ten, twenty years, your skin color, your language, your demeanor. Your names… The Naked City… I liked that! Gotham city, a little less. The Big Apple… absolutely ridiculous!
 -And you were always yourself: arriving punctually according to the season, enveloping me in your great dark star-studded cape, sometimes a full moon on your forehead, so handsome!! Trying always to lull me to sleep with soft, melodious songs…
 But now, look at you: pride has gone to your head: I bet you tell yourself: “Night is one, but cities like her are a dime a dozen!”
 -No, dear, I’ve never gone that far. I’ve always tried to recover those days, I mean, nights, when I could lull you to sleep. Now, I never succeed. You see, that’s precisely why we must part.  Because you don’t need me anymore,  because nobody here acknowledges me. You have agreed to this falsification of Day during my time. You’ve become: The City that never sleeps. And I need sleep, my beloved.. .

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