Who knew that the wet ground could tell stories? It was a rather melancholic night, the streets were busy and full of people holding hands and getting drunk on alcohol and happiness. I was standing in the corner of an alley, next to a shoe store in someone else’s city, waiting for a chain reaction from my own deeds that I left back in my hometown. 

I scrolled through the crowd looking for familiar faces, but everyone was ecstatic by the city lights. Until I turned my head to the left side of the alley, and saw you standing there. Gazing on buildings, looking for something on a noisy Saturday night. You kept on checking your phone as if your life was caged in it (or maybe you were looking for an address). 

I’ve seen it all before, your confused face, your illuminated hands, and your clear umbrella, washed by raindrops and city lights. I don’t know who you are, but you seem nice. You seem like a good person to talk about astronomy and history, and maybe about books and how Alfred Wallace found his way to forests of Indonesia. 

In my head, I said hello. In reality, I was just standing there doing what I love the most, taking photos of strangers and crafting stories about them in my imagination. So, I took a photo of you. I talked to myself “I wish I could go to him and ask for his e-mail so that I could send this really nice photo of him under the city lights” because with luggages like that, you look like a lone tourist, sometimes it would be nice to have a photo captured as a memory when you’re visiting a new place, you know? 

But I didn’t move. Even when you passed me by, still looking upwards, reading store names and maybe more. I was just standing there watching you slowly walk away, and whisper to myself,

Elvis just left the building. 

It’s almost midnight, and I’m still drinking in my balcony. Watching a foreigner’s city comes to life with a drink in hand and a book in my other hand. Looking to the depth of the streets from the fourth floor, wondering if you’ve finally found what you’ve been looking for.

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