13 August 2005

Arlington Noir

12:17 a.m.

The night's dark and wet balmy. The lights are diffusing soft under the humidity. Clouds stare poker-faced. Air's hung with water, so that every so often you get pricked by a tiny raindrop half in your imagination. It's an evening that has you flinching at the signs of rain. The kind of night that has you too nervous about the prospect of showers and thunderstorms to enjoy the breeze and the heat in the darkness. It's not quite as pleasant out as it should be.

A 1987 Volvo sits next to the curb, peeling white paint off into the air like cancer. It has Cadillac rims, painstakingly installed - rims that look to be at least a decade older than the car.

A biker chick wearing a wedding dress is being helped out of a rented limo by a thick-looking groom with a cue ball head and swollen knuckles. There is a thorn tatooed around her left bicep. It is as big around as my head.

A West African woman in a headwrap and a colorful skirt and traditional-looking beads leans up against a car park chain link to take a smoke break.

Steam and smoke both rise into the jaundiced night air.

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