A glass of wine was thrust into his hands which he accepted with abject humiliation. The unsavory liquid forced tears to his eyes; tears unwarranted which could not be solely attributed to the bitter liquid. He gulped down the tonic, wincing as it coursed through him, the same self-deprecating smile pasted on his face as always. He stood there solitary, slightly hunched; a lone figure amongst the jolly revelers.

As usual there was too much noise from all sides. People complaining, questioning, asking rhetorical questions – he felt the contrived need to adjust his face and tone appropriately in order to stay polite. Where was the quietness and stillness? In this noisy city there was so much redundancy – the wheel turned yet people were continually drowning in their unnecessary extravagances. And summoned by the inevitable sway of society, he joined in.

He stood slack-jawed in the city, eyes wide open as suits and briefcases with stern faces passed him by. He had been blinded by the city lights; lights beaming like cobwebs which had been drawn up around him as he wandered around in a befuddled daze.

He had made a rule never to cry in public. So it was appropriate that it was raining outside. He pretended that the raindrops corresponded to his tears. The dim orange streetlights cast an orange pall over the green trees, like a premature autumn.

Take me back, he whispered, as he gazed across the bustling metropolis.


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