I had to go down the bus station. One of the security guards flirted with a woman near the vending machines. And her eyes were rolling every which way, not from drugs, but form exasperation. There was a cemetery for parking lot attendant shacks. Behind them an old dust covered Dodge rusted into submission. Two words were painted on its trunk: Death Machine.
Around the corner the warehouses became loft apartments. Large brick buildings who would shoot their brickwork out like bullets once the earthquake grabbed the land on which they were planted. I got some lemonade, but the guy said, we don’t use sweetener, and he handed me a bottle of simple syrup. The owner was eavesdropping and he led us over to a beaten upright he’d bought for too much money. Another block down, people lived in tents.
I wanted to keep walking, to keep seeing, but also, I wanted to get out of there. It reminded me of some low times of my own, amidst the well heeled set, actually just a couple of corner turns hidden from the good times, but a universe away in terms of mental and emotional leaps.
by Hank Cherry