My favorite places to walk are those narrow, dim alleys. They hide behind all the modern skyscrapers, plazas, and shopping street. Away from the bustle of the city, those alleys narrate numerous bitter-sweet stories of life in a silence. I always visit alleys when I am free, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the night. These long, complicated maze-like alleys is filled with the scent of old time, like a sake at 45℃, gentle and dazzling.
In a morning of summer, the wet sunshine is newly born. Taking a cold shower, plugging my headphone, I travel through the alley, without a destination. The cloudless, azure sky, the shattered shadow under a plane tree, the dewy purple flower of triangle plums, and the strong summer smell remind me of the temperature of a heart that I love. A calico cat is sleeping on the brick-made mottled red wall. The girl wears a light bright dress, running towards me. A black butterfly shines in the morning light.
"I walk as far as I can,/ then farther, past/ the chain-link barring the road,..." Alison Pick wrote in his poem, "The Hinterland". I've done the same.
In the narrow alleys, walls block the view. Nobody knows what is there after the next corner. I love being fresh; I love being strange.
In the wind of autumn, lighting my cigarette, I travel through the alley. No green stay anymore. A few yellow, dry leaves tremble in the tips of branches. The nights are cold. The sadness and loneliness are blowing in the breeze. Under the dim yellow light of lamps, I walk. I've seen a white-collar worker going back home, drunk, dancing a single waltz. I've seen homeless dogs rambling in the cold wind, sniffing around. I've seen young teenage lovers, kissing beneath a tree, desperately.
All the scenes are stories of life, memories of others. I have watched them smiling, embracing, holding each others hands. I have also watched them weeping, quarreling, kissing in tears. I have watched them like I’ve lived a thousand times.
“There is nothing new in the world.” A voice talked to me.
“But every story is unique.” I answered.
I need to go home now, I think, and go on with my story. "By walking I found out/ Where I was going./...Another step/ And I shall be where I started from." Irving Layton said.