City at Night…………………….
By Graham Bishop 1974
The Sun is shining. People go their different ways, all interest lying in themselves and their destinations. Tyres scream, horns beep, and the city is alive and busy. The sun slowly creeps across the sky, casting its shadows on the tall buildings, and reflecting its light on the polished chrome and paint work of motor cars.
It has passed its zenith now and seems to be racing downwards – falling as fast as it can go. The people are now going more than coming; going home, making their way through the city to their cozy suburbs. Their offices look empty, like big shells left outside and desolated as if there will be no return to these dead buildings.
The sun has now reached the western part of the sky. It seems to hang for a moment, casting its kaleidoscope of colors across the city in artistic patterns.
Then the light fades shades of blue cover the sky, the darkest in the eastern part of the sky, the pale blue in the west. Darkness eventually swallows the colors and it’s night.
Now there is a different life in the city. Neon signs send out their silent messages in an array of colors that could put the sunset to shame. Some flash, some change colors and other are stationary, all help to create the colors of the city at night.
Cars still move through the city, but now move more like colorful fireflies, their colors reflecting on the windows of buildings as they pass.
It begins to rain. The city brightens further as if to say that it isn’t satisfied with the already beautiful demonstrations. The lights reflect into every corner of the city. The car lights join to become a long snake of red and white. The cars now have a personality of their own, weaving their patterns of light everywhere they go. On to the freeways they go and away to the unknown destinations.
The suburbs are different. They sleep in a blanket of fog with the occasional sound of an alley cat or family dog. Smoke spirals from the chimneys of these snug little homes. The trees wave towards the houses as if they are protecting the homes from an unseen visitor. Silence prevails.
The moon feebly shines through thick clouds, casting its pale yellow light on the suburb. The wind howls. It blows across the suburb to the highway and onto the vehicles that make their way along it. It seems to follow them back to the multi –colored lights of the city. The city where the neon signs talk and the window reflections tell their story. The traffic lights flash and the cars are once again fireflies.
The magic is dying. It tries to hold on; the reflection grows weaker, the office windows loose their magic and the fireflies are mindless. Here comes the sun – a new day; enveloping the old. The first rays stretch over the city, just above the horizon. The shades of blue return and soon the sun peeps its shiny head above the city. The hustle and bustle returns, horns hoot, brakes screech, the offices are filled and the neon signs now flash out their sad story.
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