I’ve seen rats the size of cats, running around the street in plain daylight. They are the quickest denizens in a city that used to be brick and mortar and is slowly changing to glass and steel. Walking around the place people don’t quite make eye contact, too busy scurrying for a meal ticket, or afraid to end up with a shank on their back. Quite a place, this home of mine.
It’s beautiful in all it’s life, and the debauchery is barely covered by a thin film of glitz. Men and women are equals here, each out for themselves. They’ve being selling whatever is available to them to manage to make it through another sunrise. The deals start early in the morning, but they aren’t signed until it’s the deepest cerulean night. Until it has covered the heavens all around. A handshake and a beer is what most expect in these parts. Nothing in writing, guess a word is a bond. Hmm, let me think about that one.
When children are born, it’s a cause of celebration, although many can’t help but wonder what will be it’s destiny. A tweaker? A ho? A pimp? Or a studious little beast, learning all the mannerisms of it’s “betters” and managing to climb out of the bucket. A crab. Who are the betters? What a sad phrase to think, much less utter. There it is though, unable to be taken back, and one that’s thought too often to be ignored, erased or whitewashed. Who are the betters?
Go ahead and wonder, wrap your mind around the thought, if you manage a conclusion let me know. I don’t worry about it, alright, yes I do, but nothing I can do about it. I’ve found out that some that think me less, and some that think I feel myself more. I am there, I live there, I breathe the air, but interloper am I. The “betterness”, (yes I know it’s not a word) or lack thereof doesn’t bother me, am a crab without the pincers, without the heartless climbing, but out of the bucket I will go. Perhaps not crab after all, but surely one that has searched for a source of power, and may have found it at the core.
There’s nothing in me that says am one more, that’s because, am not. I don’t blend in completely, I don’t become mired in the mindless fun. You remember that senseless scene of sexual ambiguity, where all were dancing together, but seemed to be arrested in a momentous orgy? You must remember if you’ve seen that movie, the “matrix”.
Put city lights, a bit of beer, a smoke here and there and ahhh there’s no place like home. I watch from the sides mostly, talking and watching, once in a while I enjoy the dance, well except, I don’t let myself go. I don’t like the penetration, the invasion, the break down of barriers that make you just one more. Twirling in abandon, letting go. Control.
The rats, are large and getting larger, they eat all that we have thrown out, they share with those that call dirt, and open air home. Men and women sleep in fetal positions holding on to their small bundles of clothing on any available patch of grass, on concrete, where there may be a bit of rest. There’s so much of the relentless hunger, and lately? The wet driving rain that stabs like an ice pick with dreadful cold brutality while you sleep. Regression, they are children, shrinking in on themselves, searching for some warmth and all they find is air.
It’s a beautiful city though, you see tourists fresh from an exiting plane trip. The camera flashes go off, the costumed superheroes of the street pose with nonchalant ease. They are there for a quick tip. No charge really, but they do expect a tip. It’s not sin city, where you can walk around almost naked, with a beer bottle on your hand. No, so sorry, that is left for those that want total break down. No, here you can only walk around with bottled “water” and you’re fine. The almost naked part, that’s fine, it’s a free country, you can do that here as well.
Watching people go by, I’ve learned so much of the characters of this place, and thought, what could lead someone to loose themselves so completely? When does this end? I heard for some it ends at the room of a building, or perhaps a few seconds later, when the face hits the concrete down below. The end.
I come and I go, interloper am I. Learning of other places along the road. That’s why I don’t quite blend in, my eyes give me away, I watch, am respectful but I don’t quite join in. It’s too great a world to stay stuck to one single place. Why commit to one lifetime of the same place, when I could experience so many. Adventure awaits.
Nomad I want to be, nomad I was born. When I hit the beach, I will tell you about the silky texture of the sand between my fingers. Or perhaps the time will come when I talk about the others I have met, and their political cronies that rule the land. Me? Like I said, I was searching for power, and I found it at the core, but the search taught me who I am, and that’s an explorer of all there is to see. This land is a magnificent distracting tragic comedy, with mercurial happiness between bursts of pain.
For now, you know you’ve learned a little…more…about one of my…homes.