I eat facing restaurant entrances now. I pay attention to the sounds of vehicles passing by. I chain my wallet to my belt loop. I sleep with the lights on. I don’t drink enough coffee. I don’t drink enough soda. I stay away from quiet alleys. I watch my steps when I walk alone. I don’t listen to music during daily commutes. I don’t walk for hours on the way home. I don’t wander the city alone.
This place sprawls with people; the faces are not that different, but the often glaring lack of familiar ones is bittersweet.
I asked for this. I love this big city, with its looming towers and skyscrapers and the undying throb of energy even past midnight, but I’ve always hated change and this city is demanding so much of it from me.