10 July 2006

Pennsylvania Avenue

10:32 a.m.

Walk down Pennsylvannia Avenue towards the Treasury Building at 10:32 in the morning, in the wet heat. The sidewalks are empty. There are tall buildings, steel & glass, shining like bones. There are strips of grass wilting between the lanes on the boulevard. The only things moving are cars, empty taxis gunning streetlights. The world is metal and concrete and glass, and the strips of grass that wilt in the sun. Walk down Pennsylvania Avenue before lunchtime and the only living things in the world are you and the sunparched grass strips and the ragged dozens of homeless, prone on the benches, asleep in little grassy triangles at the end of the block underneath saplings, staring out into nothing. All else is roaring machinery and distant buildings, marble lobbies. The buildings and the cars gaze down coolly, the sky mirrored in their gaze, and outside in the roaring quiet before the lunch hour a ragged and desperate little clutch of humanity bleaches in the wet heat.

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