the clock struck five. the sun was eye level and had turned the bridge gold. i was in a fight for my life. i ran as fast as i could. he was standing there trying to look bored, a blade taped to his ankle, roll of cash in his pocket. just in time. i had my tights on beneath a canvas jacket. we walked along the homeless encampment with its tents and bicycle parts and indigents sitting around a smoking fire. i won’t take nothing if you’re not done yet. i told him i was. i had spent the last four weeks chained to a desk writing several thousand words a day. i pulled the manuscript out from under my jacket. he tried to stare at the cracks in the sidewalk because he didn’t want me to see his eyes light up. i took the money and bought myself a room for a week at the Citizen. i asked for a window to the park so i could look down upon the high fountain surrounded by benches…the cafe. Cesar Chavez had his back to me. i remembered when i was down and out, too. i situated my desk just so. it wouldn’t take long to tell the honest truth.
I passed a young man of Asian descent lying on his side, he was bald-headed and bloody. He told me how the politicians were tracking him. He had a square of metal and tapped the top of his head where some of the skin had been scraped off. He was smiling and calmly began scraping at the cut, and I asked him to stop. He asked for water. I had a bottle in my bag and gave it to him. I walked up another flight of stairs to a room crammed with technology like the inside of a space shuttle. There were operators in there who knew me. I became enraged, feeling helpless. I believe the operations people carry out across systems could be more carefully intended and tended. Instead they get rushed and executed, payrolls capping both ends. People are shut out and they suffer. There’s barely enough water to go round.
|‘street art midtown’ by k|