The Midnight Rambler
by J. S. Martin

 

It had been nearly five or six years since I felt the warmth of another person lying next to me. Yet, even in the damp and darkness of the alley, and the stench of the dumpster we were crouched behind, I sensed a rebirth in me. It seemed as if Sally, through that one moment of revelation, made everything okay and not so dangerous.

What I didn't see coming is what I already knew. Living on the streets require cunning. There is a rhythm in the streets. Everything communicates to everything else. Listen. Hear the horns? Hear the jackhammer respond? The bellowing foghorn of the ships in the bay answers the boom of the pile driver. It's all linked together. But until that night I never really understood. If you stare long enough you can see the streets moving with each breath the city takes. We are mere appendages to the city. We die and fall off. It grows two more. We are the arteries and the vessels that pump the vital fluids throughout the heart of the city. We must die so that the city, and the other appendages, can carry on.

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