The sounds of the city blend together as a coherent cacophony: sirens wailing, taxis zipping, people screaming. The insanity of the outside initiates a struggle within me. My breaths grow shorter as I begin asking myself pointless questions about everything around me. I want to break, I want to stop, I want to turn. But it’s impossible to do anything when you’re yet another stranger in a city of strangers.

All you can do is watch. Watching may not seem to be a form of therapy, and yet, it almost always is. The careful tracking of the eye comforts the sweaty palms and the restless beating of the heart. And so, you watch. You watch the woman with large designer sunglasses running to hail a cab. What’s the hurry? Is she a typical soccer mom trying to make it back to overfeed her kids when they get back from school? Oh, but maybe she’s too young. What if….what if she’s a broke college student late for a job interview? Damn, that actually works. Ok, next. You watch the dude with an oversized yellow sweatshirt singing aloud to himself. His singing is actually terrible. Why would he ruin everyone’s day with that? Is he trying to make it big on Broadway but can’t afford singing lessons? Or maybe, he’s just a dick. Either way, someone needs to tell him Broadway’s not for him.

As I get lost within my own thoughts, my anxiety runs further away from me. The pointless questions I ask myself are replaced with vibrant backstories for strangers on the street. New York may never be a place I can physically get lost in but instead it’s a place that transports me far from the word I live in. It causes me to get lost in my own self.

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