October 6, 2018

On Certain City Streets

On certain city streets on the south side of town where the real people live...and die...and far away from the avenues and the boulevards upon where the glittery lights shine on affluence and the downtown beckons, old cars with torn interiors sit sadly under yellowed streetlights wondering what they did wrong to be consigned to this fate, and old rusty pickup trucks with broken headlights serving as dumpsters with beds filled with things that nobody wants anymore...an old mattress, a broken chair, empty cans...at least things that can be physically thrown in the bed are there, they sit there comatose, in a vegetative state, lingering, waiting for someone to pull the plug, dusty and rusty, scratched dinged and dented, unwanted and/or unrepaired...left to the elements, abandoned, and like some spouses, ignored or neglected, the vehicles are left to fend for themselves where they suffer the pangs of loneliness and shame, parked on grim gray streets full of grime and crime and homeless people shuffling about and mumbling to themselves...long dark alleys full of broken bottles, leftover Wild Irish Rose, cheap bourbon...empty boxes; some serving as housing, crates, paper bags with last nights highs drank from them...tipped over garbage containers, pieces of newspaper or flyers crinkled up and lying about randomly with days gone by printed on them...vaguely lit, dim bare bulbs in anonymous discouraged and dismayed buildings illuminating but just barely, walls of peeling paint and dirty wallpaper barely clinging on to decaying walls with old picture frames hung on them containing black and white or yellowed photographs of old or now dead people...buildings that once stood upright and with pride, now slouched over and decrepit looking and keeping their heads down to not make eye contact...eaves hung in shame, shutters listless, window blinds bleary eyed and at half-mast, bloodshot...windows, some broken, looking like spider webs, foreboding bars covering them, shadowy doorways with broken concrete steps and railings nearly falling off...house numbers missing, forsaken front yards full of dead grass and lawn ornaments of dead trash and weeds...decorated in doom and despair, all the buildings painted in the same shade of gloom and doom...when the sun goes down it’s a little darker on this side of town and the night lasts a little longer...sirens ring through the streets, yells, bangs, dogs barking, periods of silence punctured by a loud burst of noise from off in the distance...the people that remain in this hellhole remain because they can’t get out...behind doors locked and bolted up, some getting away from the windows when a car drives by just in case...west 179th, south Jefferson, 95th street and other streets that the police know all too well and ones that show up regularly on crime reports.

You Belong To The City