Tuesday, April 5, 2005


Ground level ozone and fine airborne particles.

This city is not for lovers. The balconies are much too high, the grass, too stiff, and the alleys, a little too perfumed with piss. You can go to the park if you don't mind sharing it with used needles. You can go down to the beach if you ignore the broken glass. You can go enjoy a pint on the patio if you disregard the guilt.

Our afternoon, cut short by rain. The first drop plops into my beer and the second, into yours. Within minutes, the sky opens up. I suggest retiring to the cozy interior of the darkened pub, but by this time, you're already half over the slick wrought iron railing. You tell me you've gotta go. I mention how you'll remain drier if you run - it's not wet between the raindrops. And just like that you're off, running crazily down the street with your jacket over your head.

My languid, and damp, walk home brings with it laboured and uncomfortable breathing. The rain pulls the smog down to the street, and my breathing draws it burning into my lungs. I pass an unconscious homeless man in his junk-castle, and I drop the change from our pints into his filthy hat. This city used to be interesting - back when it held a little mystery. Now, it is a sieve, straining out all the questions, leaving nothing behind but grey towers, garbage, and poverty.

At 4th Street, I break into a beery run. Blurring through the glass and concrete tombs, past the yellowing trash strewn grass of an abandoned park - running fast enough, I am untouched by this repulsive metropolis. It's not wet between the raindrops. And if I'm lucky, I'll be dry by the time I get home.

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