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Pink & Gone
A Retreat from Harm City

Autumn had come a month early, the incessant rain absent for the night, a ramp of tumbling white clouds high in the starless sky, the moon, one night past full, glaring brightly white.

It is 55 minutes to midnight as I arrive at the shelter and she looks up into my eyes for the third time in a week with her own, big brown eyes, limned with moonlit tears and set in pretty-cheeked ebony face.

This place has been wearing on me and I fail to smile, to which she sinks her face back into the flannel blanket she hugs, folded against her chest, bundled in her big, brown hooded coat, over a black hooded sweatshirt and black knit cap. Instead of cheering her, I look instead at her shaking, pink-sneakered feet beneath the legs of sky blue and pink pattern pajamas.

She shivers and sobs.

A shopping cart under the shelter holds two travel bags and two plastic grocery store bags.

A hoodrat skulks up with his smart phone blaring rap and sits next to her, too which she looks pleadingly at me, her eyes welling, and she hugs the blanket the harder, plunging her dripping face into its soft folds—well folded with care it is.

Her pink feet pump like idle peddles on some stalled machine.

The bus arrives.

She looks up as I board, casting wide wet eyes on the bus, frozen as if in wonder, considering some distant island from a shore with no boat.

I'm headed out of town to work and then to the roof of a better world.

Sometimes even the most jaded of us have to turn away when this Undead City eats.

The mundane carpet rumbled eastward, a bright, warm, tubular light in the cool night.

Below is a video of some of the areas this lady is avoiding be living under the bus shelter a mile north of the City/County line.

Rubbing Out Palefaces

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