City Stories (and How The Fuck Did We Get Here?)

Première Partie

In yet another night of life in the city, Vincenzo accepted Freddie’s request to accompany her and her friends on an outing to celebrate her birthday. He was not in the greatest mood, and that humor indicator could either lead to a descent into utter madness or absolute misery. The one single issue that prevented Vin from possibly making a more discernible decision, was the fact that he was a people-pleaser for most of his hours. Therefore, saying no was extremely out of character.

Vincenzo took the metro, anxiety gripping his guts to disgusting levels, and he held on to himself. All the other people surrounding him in that God-forsaken hole in the Earth seemed more content. (Or was it contempt?)

The train stopped at the intended spot where Vincenzo was supposed to leave at, and the turmoil inside and around wasn’t intent on ceasing. The people moved out of the car and Vincenzo hesitated. He looked around tentatively and hopped out onto the platform.

Coming out of the metro station was an odyssey. The Baixa-Chiado station is perhaps the most accurate representation of all of the seven levels of Hell in the city. (If you’re dramatic enough, you’ll see it.)

Vincenzo took the last step upon the stairwell leading to the street. The air swooped him in and seduced him into carrying on. In several breaths of courage, he made his way to wish Freddie a happy birthday and maybe, forget about his stupid mental shit for once.

Freddie gave him a big crushing hug and introduced all her friends and her boyfriend. And then, as praxis demands, she led Vincenzo to the bar to grab some pints of lager beer. The bar was the size of a hideaway closet and anxiety squeezed Vincenzo’s heart once more. But then Freddie handed him a beer and all the discouragement seemed to have flown away. A placebo that had been given away so many times – all across the ages, successful and unsuccessful – a sedation that never fails to reduce a man to states he never truly understood.

Vincenzo walked outside along with Freddie and after a lovely, fitting toast to his friend, he took a sip. The freshness took him back to Summer times. The bitterness took him back to a lonely embrace from a lover. And the night was simply on its inception.

(Can you take what might be coming up next? Stay tuned.)

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