This Is My Day

This is my city. The breaths of bad air and the beating heart of crawling engines. Car horns barking blared greetings and warnings. The rustle of restless litter and the gunshot symphony of a thousand doors slamming. The scream of neon under smog shrouding. A sick, yellow moon over it all. Buildings hide hollow hearts, empty apartments and lonely people. Lovers hunched by silent telephones, hungry children in restless cribs, old men huddled against the wind. Alleys of people looking as though death had already overtaken them, with yesterday’s newspapers providing inky shelter.

The glowing signs and lights spit slogans and messages out at me. The city tells its own story – news tumbles from screens bolted onto the side of creaking buildings. It’s the old mantra: crime, blood and fire. A city eating itself from the inside. New teeth along every sidewalk, commuter tunnels like great black bowels.

Below me the streetcars raise violent sparks as they head toward midtown, all clatter and bang. My eyes follow the bright arc as it retreats through the concrete valley of parking garages and stuttering office buildings. Midtown. I’d have to make it there. I peer through the polished Perspex of the box. Bright pinpoints seem to dance in the night sky.

A horizon as jagged as broken teeth spits a bloody jet of flame skyward. It’s starting.

I look about me again. A Perspex box. A thousand keys. A single keyhole. An oil-stained rope. A candle flame. Certain death.

Sometimes it seems too easy. I take a breath of the city air and get to work.

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Douglas Noble was born in Scotland and grew up all wrong. Don't blame his parents though, they tried their best.

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