The City and I

Those times, my happiest of all, when I lose myself to the voids of the city. Those times, I forget all forms of navigation. I walk aimlessly in the streets, down narrow alleys, and through main plazas.

I lose direction. I lose the story, the beginning and the end. I lose the context.

I surrender to the spatial world. To the facades that speak of both history and modernity, to the cobblestone of the ancient streets, to trees of thousands years of age, to the rivers that gave birth to civilizations, to God’s marvelous creations, the mountains the guardians of cities, to the infinite night sky holding the city together at times of darkness, and to the vast oceans responding to the city’s miseries.

Those times, the city whispers into my ears, comforts me.

I hear nothing but music I have written in my head. Lyrics that instantly pours into my mind. Describing every turn I take on my endless path, every street I walk on, every façade that stares back at me, and every sunset I fall in love with. I create songs that I sing to the vast walls of the city, to the chirping birds of the morning, to the barks of the neighbor’s dogs, to the ancients who had built the glorious past.

I sing along the flowing rivers. I sing along the rising cranes. And the ever changing skyline.

With every footstep on every floor pattern, with every breath I inhale, and with every pounding of my heart, the city and I, we sing together.

I then speak with the name of the city, and the city speaks with mine. The city sees with my eyes and I watch the world through its eyes. The city slowly swallows me.

Those times, the city becomes myself, and I become the city.

Those times, the city and I, we become one.



I look at myself in the mirror and ask why I would ever be admired. I look at my pale face and the dark circles around my teary eyes and wonder why my cheekbones can be more visible today. I see my face and wonder why I am depressed. Why I cry every night before I go to bed. I look deep into my eyes and ask my very own self why I hate myself.

When I am around people I feel my soul detaching from my body. I feel elevated beyond the physical world. I’d then become so deep into my consciousness, that I lose myself. I would nod regardless agreeing, I would always fake a smile, a laugh or whatever that comes automatically to avoid people getting into my state of peace.

Or despair.

I have been depressed for a long while now. I have learned that after reading a couple of articles on the topic and taking a couple of unreliable online tests just for the sake of entertainment and showed many of the symptoms mentioned.

And I don’t know the reason behind my feelings. I don’t understand what have made me reach this point.

I have a life that many people would dream of. A great, loving family, a great house, good education opportunities, great upbringing, and a pair of green eyes in Egypt. My parents provided me with the best. And love me unconditionally.

Yet, depression and loneliness haunt me wherever I go.

Every time I speak out loud about my depressed self, people would laugh at me and ask why a girl like me would ever be depressed. They’d tell me that I don’t have the right to feel so.

As if it was ever my choice. As if I have every wanted to be stuck in this state. As if I have ever liked it.

‘Then change yourself’, they’d say.

I’d laugh.

Do they think I have never tried? Do they even know what happens every time I try?

Here’s what happens: I receive shots of negative thoughts from my head which destroy me. I end up this lump of flesh with zero self-esteem. The grey scale world around me would blacken and the concept of pleasure would disappear. The slightest thing that would usually make me happy won’t. The only feeling I get is numbness.

I would watch the streetlights blur, the colors fade away, the objects unfocused and text dissolving into white papers/screens. I would lose the slightest sense. I would skip the smiles, the laughs, and most forms of human contact.

I would end up living with altered versions of real people in my head. We converse, we joke and we fall in love.

And constantly destroy each other. Rip each other’s souls apart.

I am held captive. Not in the walls of my room or my house. Not in the fences of my gated city. Not in the boundaries of my country. But I am held captive into my soul. I am held captive in my thoughts. And my innermost self.