I must seem intimidating

A short/poem that I really enjoy. Sometimes it’s very easy to fall into this way of thinking when you’re alone and underground.

It’s interesting how people try to protect themselves in shared, urban spaces. When in the train, my thoughts mirror those of the man in the film, ”you hear such terrible stories”. A mask is put on that separates me from those around me, acting as a barrier that I hope fervently is impenetrable, though I know that any series of unexpected events can lead to its removal. There is a thrilling and terrifying expectation that anything can happen once I board the bus or the train that can completely change the course of my day for better or worse. I want to seem intimidating, not only because I don’t want to be a victim, but because it’s frightening to think that my life as well as everyone else is based and ruled by happenstance, crossed wires and unexpected delays. But I am learning that this is simply the consequence of urban life, that the networks and and paths forged by millions of people each days act as a haphazardly choreographed mirror to the orderly (though in London’s case, not so orderly) streets, buildings and structures that mark the city’s boundaries. These daily mundane dances that we all do to get through the days render all these structures more public, more amorphous than they were meant to be, allowing for all these possibilities to occur. I am learning that I need to become less intimidating in order to do my part in breathing life into the city, making it more unpredictable and more wondrous than it was before. I have heard such terrible stories, but there also exists stories that prove London’s worth over and over again.

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