I remember the first time I came to New York. She danced before me, kicking her legs to the noise of the streets under the spotlight of the moon. I fell in love. From the hem of her colourful skirt was a loose thread called Chance, and I unraveled her.
Wooed, I wanted to be a part of the performance, kicking the holes in the sky that let the stars stream through. So I found myself on stage with so many others, with their sharp knives of talent and guns loaded with ambition, an army of suitors all clawing for their turn to dance; all fighting to be part of the city that already has everything, needs no-one.
But we fight anyway. And we fight and we fight, white-knuckling slivers of opportunity, working more and more to afford our overpriced living, becoming less and less of what we came here for. Until one day you look around at the streets all blurred with speed and colour – and it feels as if you are clutching the fur of a bolting animal, trying not to get thrown off, feeding off the sweat.
But just when I feel like I am losing my grip, when I am sick for home the most, there will be a small victory; a drop of sweetness that I will savour on my tongue, sucking out the syrup and letting something like hope trickle through me. It is in those moments when the night glitters. When stars split open in the sky and I am rinsed in the warm air. When I feel the blood rushing through people I pass, like the street is a throbbing artery for something so much bigger that we are all traveling through. When in the distance, the metal noise of the city will shift it’s rhythm and for a moment, all you can hear is the crack of wings.
Written by Amy Fraser of on islands, and everything in between