The grey sidewalk curled under my feet, cracked and covered in filth. There was so much trash spilling from the cans, spills of someone’s gargantuan hot dog oil splashed across the ground. The sidewalk was my insides, blurry and inconsistently visible as I stumbled along my path. People thought the city seemed attractive, or at least acceptable, but they were looking up. Everyone looked up at the lovely old buildings, the impossibly tall trees, the whimsical old lampposts glowing through the romantic comedy setting of a city. The tourists has their eyes trained on the horizon complete with ocean and fluffy clouds, while I kept my eyes trained downwards, avoiding the gaze of others, watching my own feet, pretending to be invisible, and taking in only the dirty sidewalk.
Trembling with the anxiety that accompanies being in a bar packed with human beings, it felt relaxing to be outside in the dark. I weaved across the sidewalk with uneasy feet. I passed men loudly yelling to each other in what sounded to me like anger, but could easily have been a friendly hug of the minds. I’m aware that I’m so sensitive to it that any display of anger or aggression or abrasive contrariness strikes me as terrifying and places me on the defensive. People who like being aggressive say that I fear assertive personalities because I’m emotionally repressed, but really I just grew up around anger and maybe I have a reason to be conditioned to fear that emotion. That night though, I was too drunk to really own my emotions, fear or otherwise.