I have a grave fear of heights. And lights. And loud noises.
Many people think that I’m some lame countryside girl, farmer’s helper and my worst fear is living in a bustling city. It’s sad that it’s true. Being free to run wild and play in humongous forests with ancient trees beats getting squashed on a subway.
Perhaps this is because I have lived in the calm wilderness so much, I’ve gotten used to tiny anthills in the dirt, warm sunlight on my cheeks and the gentle tinkle of water flowing against rock. When I moved to the city to study, I assumed it would be the same there too. Because we were all on one planet, weren’t we?
That was foolish. I found out why the city and countryside were two separate places, and why they were so far apart. Taking that train to the city was like stepping into another universe.
There are so many things wrong with this universe.
The skyscrapers are too high, it is dizzying to look down. (No wonder few people are stupid enough to.) It is impossible to clean fully, cost a lot to build and is a safety hazard to all children unlucky enough to step inside. Imagine a fall from that height! Back at the farm we were more modest. Farmhouses are only two storeys high, so everybody can pitch in to clean. We were not so proud to splurge on our houses; that money is for more useful things, such as new farming tools. Also, the whole family look after the young ones and make sure they don’t accidentally fall off the roof. I don’t think a fall will kill most kids, anyway.
Natural lighting is out of fashion here. We have neon lights and phone screens. Every night, from the balcony of my apartment, I see streaks of light race across wide pavements of concrete into bright darkness, snaking around square or rectangular buildings. For some reason, it hurts my eyes awfully. It makes my eyes red and dry and terrible.
Plus, have you heard the devilish sounds of cars screeching and people shouting and music blasting through speakers and horns beeping and bells ringing and phones dinging and babies crying and runners panting and teenagers screaming and drunk men guffawing and club-goers partying and singers busking at subway stations and station announcements being made and…
You get the idea. This whole idea of a ‘city’ is wrong. The gifts Mother Nature gave us –the gifts of the sun, the moon, the trees, the plants, nature, the animals, silence– are wasted by urban fools who think metal monsters with glowing eyes look cool to ride in. We have lost touch with Earth, with greenery, with flora, with fauna — and have hurt our dear planet in the process. And some have already considered moving to another planet, since this one is obviously going to be destroyed. So they can destroy another innocent one. Add the fear of losing Earth to my list.
This is ridiculous. Why can’t we tear down these buildings and turn off these lights and silence the noises?
I wish this universe of a city didn’t exist.