People are mostly the same shade here in the sticks. They have a story too, I appreciate that. In my youth I wanted more art, food, culture, diversity and options for work and play. As soon as I got my feet on the ground in my twenties, I headed to Baltimore City. People’s outward appearance matched the diversity of different interests and skills they had. I met people from faraway places, saw things that movies couldn’t touch, heard stories and music that filled voids I didn’t know I had. I was able to experience things I could never have even dreampt up and I loved it.
I remember an after hours party with the conductor and members of the BSO (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) at an authentic Chinese food restaurant. The food on the menu was not in English, my friend who was Chinese had to order for us. It was so delicious I ate until I popped. Then we moved to someones rowhome where a hookah was being passed around. I saw the sun rise while sitting on the roof, wrapped in a quilt we tore off someone’s bed. My only worry was what to do for breakfast.
The city radiates purpose and opportunity. Even the dark side of the city is intriguing; prostitutes linger at high end restaurant’s, perched at the bar waiting for some interest. Children under the age of five walk hand in hand, down the street at midnight, their adult tugging them along. Pan handlers stake out their corner, with signs that read, “Homeless, please help. God bless”. Poets and illiterates, pass each other on the street unbeknownst. Everyone has a story and a purpose. Hundreds of people living with in blocks of each other, step up to define good and evil in their own way. A wicked balance of struggle and power play out in the open.
The city radiates feelings I have a hard time turning my back to. I think I’ll always have it there calling to me. Baltimore City, you have a bad rap, but I love ya. I drink in your craziness and feed off your diversity. There is something so freeing about the city, I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the feeling of anonymity, which is lacking a bit where I currently call home.