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A to B through the C(ity)

Cities bare the rawness of everyday life. I went to dance the other day and on the 15 minute ride, I observed as I do. I'm a simple village man, fascinated by the big city life.

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A man sitting in a tram. Drunk. Possibly high. Talking. Despite his state, his diction is immaculate. Apparently, his boss got him drunk with homemade slivovitz. His girl betrayed him to the police. The police took his car, his things. How dare they. But the girl stole his heart and his time. He hates the city. The ticket inspector comes. The man has no ticket. I present my ticket and exit the tram to take the metro, leaving the man to his fate.

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The metro leaves the station. I people watch, and zone out. I see two ticket inspectors giving a fine for a young man in the next station. One of the inspectors comes into my car. I present him with my ticket. I tell him about the other inspection, 5 minutes ago. He tells me I'm lucky. We share a chuckle. He moves on. I continue observing.

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Next station, a man is passed out on the ground. A spray of vomit coagulates in front of him. 3 sober people stand watch until the policemen show up, it's 6PM.

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A life ruined, a minor fine, a drunken nap. You might not be surprised by these things anymore. In fact, if you live in a slightly larger city, you're probably used to these city encounters, these momentary non-redacted glimpses into the existence of others. That happens. We can only handle so much strangeness.

To me, these people are reminders of what can happen. The personified consequences of bad luck and bad choices, extrapolated over a lifetime.

I don't have any great lesson to leave you with, other than the obvious: make the most out of your luck and make the best choices you can.