Exercises in Style
Upon a nightly stroll, one can walk through the streets in the hopes of a fateful encounter. If one does not actively search out for the uniquely mesmerizing, it can be quite difficult - if not entirely impossible - to discover such immense beauty. When strolling down the paved streets of the isle of Manhattan, say, you come across a grate so extraordinary, you must save its image in your mind for eternity; to let it slip away in this instant would leave you forevermore craving its image. Let your fingers graze over the rusted grit and memorize the cavity of every loophole. Emanating from behind its heavy door is a light - dim and piercing - that pulses through the darkness and illuminates a hallway which one dare not enter.
The night was dark, but from a small corner came a beam of light. A metal grate was sitting in the middle of the pavement, casting a shadow in front of it. The hallway sat just behind the gate, leading into an unknown room.
I never walk through the streets with any sort of expectation for what I may find. The streets are full of dirt and garbage is littered across the streets by idiot travelers. A rusted metal grate provides that horrid backdrop that sets our stage. Bits of gum stream across its edges and the nature of our humanity makes itself apparent. We are creatures of little respect and our surroundings are a representation of such neglect. We are nothing short of responsible for the grime we leave behind in our path.
David Foster Wallace:
When it comes to nightly walks through the endless city streets, we can have a variety of meaningful experiences. Strange ones, beautiful ones, crazy ones. For example, you come across a rusted metal grate from which you can see light coming out from the hallway behind it. A passageway so mysterious, you stop and wonder what might lie down that hall. Peer in and allow yourself to discover.