You said: “I’ll go to some other land, I’ll go to some other sea.
There’s bound to be another city that’s better by far.
My every effort has been ill-fated from the start;
my heart – like something dead – lies buried away;
How long will my mind endure this slow decay?
Wherever I look, wherever I cast my eyes,
I see all round me the black rubble of my life
where I’ve spent so many ruined and wasted years.”
You’ll find no new places, you won’t find other shores.
The city will follow you. The streets in which you pace
will be the same, you’ll haunt the same familiar places,
and inside those same houses you’ll grow old.
You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t bother to hope
for a ship, a route, to take you somewhere else; they don’t exist.
Just as you’ve destroyed your life, here in this
small corner, so you’ve wasted it through all the world.
(C. P. Cavafy, 1894–1910, trans. Daniel Mendelsohn; Mendelsohn reads it here.)