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Without A Purpose

The crowd roars and pushes its way through the street, sweaty shoulder brushing sweaty shoulder as another hot Shanghai Saturday nears its end. Snippets of conversation: exclamation and anguish, awe and surprise all in a language foreign to him hit Adam from every direction, as he stands in the middle of it all, absorbing the life surrounding him.

One in a million has stopped to take in, appreciate. To breathe.

The creamy aqua of the sky has lost against the orange. A new colour, a peculiar blend of red and purple and yellow is taking over, slowly flooding the space above with a smooth, mixed texture, like a protective and delicate soap bubble gradually spreading over the city, asking its residents to succumb to the tranquillity of sleep.

Ahead of Adam, at the impossibly distant end of the street stands the Shimao tower, tall and proud. Never in a hurry, never loud, yet never silent. A single red neon shines: on and off, on and off. While the street pulses with life, Shimao is still, looking over all the people whose stories are in the weaving below.

As he is passed by hundreds of people, all absorbed in their problems, with their heads locked to look forward or downward, side-to-side like a machine, Adam stands looking up at the sky. It is now completely black A cool breeze blows by Adam and his thoughts. He shivers and, grabbing his groceries, joins into the crowd headed for the metro station.

And the neon shines purposefully throughout the night.

Story by:

Karolina F.

12 October 2014