Part two of four.

I managed to stumble into another drove of those protesting kids. I got their ideas, their ideals, and their complaints. Sort of. It made sense to me that yeah, we’re being fucked. I get it. But these kids, they survives 9/11, recessions, daddy’s trust fund imploding, media and social barrages and utter failure of the system just so they can stand up against a monster they have no business fighting. They keep taking, and if you don’t give to ‘em, they fight you and expect nothing less than utter support.
This city was full of trash, though. The ground ran slick with despair. Garbage mixed with oil and mud seeped from every alley, maybe even the blood of some unfortunate. It was all here, and I figured I was ready for it. My smaller town didn’t compare, even though we had our own problems.

There was a glimmer of something I had never experienced here, something I couldn’t quite put a finger on. I could almost sense desperation, but that wasn’t right either. These kids gave me a muddled view of it all, and I was trying to extract myself as carefully as I could. I could write ballads about their faked misfortunes.
I had my own problems to deal with. Of course, every homeless shelter was packed with these guys. It didn’t make sense to me– they had homes, parents, probably even cozy apartments. I guess if you’re gonna fight, you have to play the part. By now I had found a little job sweeping up some animal shelter, full of the real victims of society. They couldn’t do anything for the situation they were in at all, and that to me was more tragic than a kid with an iPod wanting more cash.

I was told by some folks not to go out at night alone, especially looking like I do. But, as always, the night screamed at me. I couldn’t resist experiencing such horror and solitude, and I heard the darkness beckoning to me… as always, I fell for it. I was telling my own story to myself on this journey, so I never turned down a chance to throw in some excitement.

I liked to walk alone at night, really. People would usually see a guy like me wandering along and just leave me be. If I was brave enough to do it, I was obviously that which they feared. Worked out in my favor. Sure, some rat-faced bastards tried to prove themselves on me, but I’m no fighter. I’m just in it for the ride.
So, sometime after midnight I heard this girl. She was laughing like a hyena at this late-night cafe place, surrounded by a group of apes in polo shirts. I stopped and watched her for a while– overdone in every way, including her emotions– and wondered what she thought of herself. Did she know she was a fake? Does she even give a damn? After one of the thick-necked jackoffs saw me, I kept walking. If there’s anything to incite a riot in a group of guys like that, it’s glancing at the goods. She’d be railed by no less than three of them by the end of the night, I could guarantee it.

This is where things went a little haywire. I was kind of hoping to just turn around and go back to my filthy little cot next to the fat guy with a drinking problem, but nah. They closed up doors  at one am, and I didn’t think I’d make it back in time. Especially after the black kid with a gun shoved me deep into the recesses of an alleyway, about to make my walk go from a surreal daydream to a nightmare.


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