Downtown Art Walk. My hips sway as the intertia of the metro pulls me backwards. The car is packed, full of mustached men, canvas shopping bags and Spike Lee lookalikes. My legs catch up, elevating on the escalator, the lights noise and street smells vapor into my face. Grimy, homeless, and smoke from sewers, noise noise and foot traffic. Bodies stand in line, fight for position between the food trucks. Tacos of all countries are here – here’s your two dollars, thank you sir – tucked into paper containers, side by side like mini corpses in tiny coffins, devoured in seconds. Charlie Sheen whispers a winning smile, look up to see people dancing, fucking maybe, to the deep red glowing neon. Glossy eyed artists paint creatures on wooden sidewalks, the engine of the crowd feeds the evening muse. We move forward now, block by block, navigating through leather and smoke, towards whatever’s next. “Where’s the art?” Julia asks. We step into a gallery. An older black woman with a black hat of folding fabric on her head asks if we want red or white. She pours red. Lots and lots of red. I examine the collage of white, and green acrylic, what they call mixed media art, the paint swirling and dripping over wood pieces, stitched together like a high school diorama project from someone who gets high and works at Home Depot.

More movement. More red lights, more traffic, beautiful people walk past us passing judgement. A dozen people surround a puppeteer, his stage a miniature rickshaw – a cloth, vaudeville music from old movies, a ragged, weathered corpse puppet that’s spent too much time underground. Brown and tan, ripped clothing, from potato sacks, no face, hands of a skeleton. The speakerbox comes to life, loud enough for the front row to hear,  strings move as the small man slithers along the stage. My love left me. I’ve got nothing, nothing, nothing to live for, except the dark depressing days that leave me wanting sleep and nothing else. The man hides his face, shaking from the vibrato in his master’s fingers. And then it ends, the man collapses, falling into himself, hiding from the world outside.