She was a double amputee with dead eyes. She sat below a sign decrying the beauty of the city and its progression and change, while all around her roamed the gross and the weird of society. Nothing had changed; the punks, the drunks, the crack heads, the religious zealots they were all still there; the only change came with the installation of twinkling lights that shone above them.
People would drive by and awe at the structures, the buildings, the synthetic creations of the city, completely missing the reality of just what had amassed around them. The groups looked just like any other crowd from any other city but to stop and look would give you a true impression of the cesspool, of the freaks that meandered about in the moonlight.
I lived amongst them in the cheap motel apartments, I heard the fights and screams in the night and at times I was one of those to add to the noise and destruction. The difference between me and them was that I could see the city for what it really was; I just couldn’t see how I fit into any of it.
It was late and cold and I was sitting alone drinking vodka, and then Jack Daniels, smoking my stolen cigarettes and looking out into the vast wasteland. The glow of the red fluorescent XXXX sign in the distance was a comfort, a beacon above the dark streets that wound and unwound around me. Sirens in the background had become like the static of a TV; I had become accustomed to my surroundings and it felt unnatural to sleep without the whir of a jet plane, the yell of a drunken neighbour or the howling of some long forgotten soul left to freeze in the streets. Somehow this had become my home.