To the Streets: In which I make my way back

(Listen as you read for a fuller experience.)

I walk out the glass doors and briskly head down the street in my worn, dirty clothes. There’s a thought of running, of flying, of going away, but I’m bound by these chains that will let me go only so far, so I settle for a careless walk, for as long as the energy beneath my dirty feet will take me.

People stream by dressed in pressed suits and done nails and neat haircuts. I’m not the lowest of the low on the street, so I get by, but not without the clean people’s sidelong glances of judgment and false concern. What is she doing here? Why is she this way? I feel them ask silently, none of them caring to wait for the answers that will only defile their air and waste my time.

But it’s all the same to me, so I walk farther on. For all the weight and short length of these chains, they’re not strong enough to keep me from the wind, from the lights, from the sounds continually in my head. The shackles bite my ankles and I leave a trickle of blood on block after block of these city streets, like permanent breadcrumbs for judges to follow if they try to come get me. But I don’t really mind and I’ll walk as far as I can go, right to the edge: Here I am, on the verge of the water again, with only me and ununderstood powers to keep me from slipping to a final end.

I sit down on the concrete and its sureness feels warm. I swing my blackened feet over the edge and dangle them in the air. The chains clink together as they hang down from raw skin. What would these ties do if they suddenly lost the life they were binding? Where would they go if there was nothing for them to restrain?

Have you ever seen the light?

I hear something say from out over, and under, the water.

Have you ever seen the light?

I look across at the calm blue. I look behind at the twinkling black. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the light,” I say out loud to the air.

Nothing answers but a shifting, cool breeze.

There is stillness.

Then a shapeless something gives a slight tug from somewhere far away, and my ankles jolt backwards, hitting the rough cement edge and leaving a smear of red. I wait for the stinging to stop, and then bring my legs and feet over the edge again. I stand up and feel the unmoving concrete beneath my feet once more. I am thankful it will go with me as I make my way back through the perfect people living on blood-stained streets.

(Partly inspired by The Killers’ Sam’s Town.
Listen to the original version here.)

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9 thoughts on “To the Streets: In which I make my way back

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the music with it. Yes, this one is one that could more to the story around it, including some other characters she would interact with. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to focus in one one little part of a narrative. I haven’t worked up to writing anything longer than 3000 words. I should take some tips from you since you have. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

            1. And you’ve done such a good job with your poetry, too. I’m sure you’ll be able to do the same with short stories. You could even expand on one of your poems and turn it into a story. The poems about the guy and his adventurous girl friend, or even the Thanksgiving one you just posted could probably be turned into stories. Those are just some ideas, though. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

              Liked by 1 person

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