Tag Archives: dialogue

Urban Perch

If I were to find solace in this concrete tundra, this structure maze, it wouldn’t just be in a specific place like the central park or the library. No, it would be in a time of day, too. And somewhere self-effacing.

“What did you do yesterday?”

“I crawled up the side of a building to a ledge and found a place in the overgrowth. I pulled my knees in close and watched the waitress girl sweep the sidewalk outside the restaurant across the street. Cars passed by and I saw them but I doubt their occupants saw me. And after the sun dipped below the point I watched the lights illuminate the sign above the door.”

“Oh.”

Solace in a time of day, you see.

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21st Century Playtime

“Amanda, what are those plastic things that those people out there walk behind?”

“Out in there in the street? I dunno. Sometimes one tells my mom which way to go in the car. It plays music and talks and stuff.”

“Geez, that’s a lot of things to do at once. Is that why they’re holding them in their hands like that? Why do they stare into them while they walk?”

“They must see forward better than eyeballs.”

“It looks like that man is talking to his. Are they alive? They must have little eardrums in them too.”

“And robot voices. My dad asked his a question yesterday and it answered and it sounded weird.”

“So they can do everything?”

“I guess so. I think that’s why everyone is always playing with them and not with each other. Rock, paper, scissors. Ready?”

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The Overpass Gospel

“I don’t know how to answer that question, sir.”

“Well you were walking by kid. You saw him collapse.”

“He didn’t. He was sitting cross-legged with his back against the concrete there when I passed him–”

“Yeah reading the Gospel aloud, you said that. We found him in the street though.”

“I heard something so I turned around and he was writhing there on the ground. He was vomiting and pulling himself along toward the street with one arm.”

“And the old Buick?”

“Didn’t see it coming. Don’t think either of us did.”

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What’s Downtown, Ahman?

“I’ve got to be downtown in an hour, Reggie.”

“What’s downtown in an hour?”

“My naturalization.”

“What the hell is that?”

“To be a real citizen here.”

“How did you manage that, Ahman?”

“They asked me a lot of questions.”

“Like history and Lincoln and all that?”

“Yes. And Washington.”

“Shit, Ahman. I don’t think you’re gonna make it downtown.”

“I can pick up the bus not far from here. The 198.”

“No, Ahman. I mean you’ll not be leaving here before we’re squared away.”

“What do you mean, Reg? I’m starting again now. It can be different.”

“Not for me my friend. Look at all these dirty mugs out here, Ahman. Look around. Stuck, Ahman. You can’t leave it behind so easy. Not here. You’re too deep, Ahman.”

“Can’t you help me, Reg? To get downtown one more time? To get out?”

“Afraid not, Ahman. Not this time.”

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