Friday, July 9, 2010



Night makes you feel like you’re in the world but not of it. Something about the quiet that exists in the dark. Not like the day at all. Too much noise in the day. But the night, now that’s magic. Makes the hair on your arms stand up for no reason. A cool peacefulness that eludes the world during the light hours.

Lights on the street corners provide a thin curtain of illumination. A spotlight in the wilderness. Shadows sneak just outside of the beam. Movements passing like ships in the night. Occasionally a painted girl dances through the glow before disappearing into the recesses of a stopped car. Taillights from cars just out of range radiate an occasional red hue on the otherwise darkened jungle.

People like to talk and you might hear different things. Stories of the night, those strange occurrences that might happen when most of the world is asleep. Misdirected information spread from the mouths that are afraid to venture out in the unknown to witness the truth.

The dying man. You will hear this man doesn’t exist. And that his wounded bleeding half alive corpse doesn’t drag itself through the night. I can attest much differently. He is out there trying to live just like you or me. Out there with a different face and name every night. Sometimes he’s holding up the liquor store on Davis to discover the hard way the clerk doesn’t bother with silent alarms or police. And taking a handful of fire as he races out into the streets without the cash. Sometimes he’s merely a boy that’s decided that every day is a good one to die for a color that he believes in so passionately because it belongs to the only family he’s ever known. And his bloodshed comes at the cost of being caught between the crossfire of two scorned families. Sometimes he’s no one. Just living day to day out of wherever and whatever he can find. And the only way to die is bleeding in the street with a needle in his arm.

Lost girls. There’s no dispute. They don’t give you a chance to miss them. Former teen runaways and beauty queens with broken dreams unafraid to greet you at the curb, down an alley or beneath a street light. Like the dying men you can’t avoid that it’s there. Except these dancing girls won’t die for their cause, they’ll just exploit it enough to get by. Sometimes that lie means drugs. Sometimes that lie means it’s supposed to be until there’s enough money. Sometimes there is no lie, and this is just the life that is left. Not where Becky I’ll-Be-Somebody thought she’d end up when she ran away from home with only $500 in her pocket. Definitely not where Miss Grant County, Iowa, planned on ending up when she followed that dead beat boyfriend who left her on the way to the big time. Where else could she turn than to someone or something that promised a better lie? Now she’s the next anonymous anybody waiting under that streetlight dancing for the next car that comes by.

Star shielded soldiers and villians. Men of the law carry guns and weight through talisman. Not that they wear these shields. Or stand behind the integrity of them. But there are few, and they do. Watching out for the dying, the painted, and the ordinary in the night. Cruising through the street with the lights and shields that make them above the law and life. These few protect from the evil that crosses between law and lawbreaker. The villains that walk both sides and survive to corrupt. It wasn’t that they chose to change sides or planned to be above the law. Yet they did and the line is drawn.

The night is not all damning and ill-fated the ordinary walks clear through unnoticed. Living, working, dancing in the same shadows of cars that pass by. Watching the darkness of the world and not being a part of it. Everything has a grimy side. Even the day has it’s day walkers who are lawless, lost, lonely and willing to die for a cause they know nothing about.

Cars will speed up and snake through the darkened streets. A thin haze of smoke will lay cover for the creatures of night. But they are still out there very real and very much alive. Living and suffering in the same life that the day walkers endure.

These cars leave a sense of surreal as they pass by with their low lit interiors and hidden passengers. A feeling of doubt that questions the validity of the mysterious sounds of life that escape out into the night. Words fractured from conversations. Sometimes interwoven with music, the broken vowels and syllables are discarded into the still hum of sound that the night has. A silent roar that exists in a state of perpetual anticipation and never becoming more. Almost like an anything wants to begin but doesn’t.

The night. This is my home. These are my sounds. These are my stories.

From the idea of night drives and city nights. Came from February. Possibly January. Been bouncing this one around that long. Revisited in May. The other piece is coming along. Surprisingly added three new ideas to the plate today. Wildly lovely. Those things that are created while working on something else. Given up on set times for anything... there is plenty for it all. this means juggling in the larger project in any way. Something else was/is still to come. Enjoy. m.

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