It was along Clarkson. A dusty glow falling from street lights. Drizzle hesitating in the air. And I walked on, scuffing my shoes along the jagged sidewalk, hands in my pockets.

In my ears, music cut me off from the world. There was the constant thunder of the beat, matched flicker for flash to the busy lights of the city. Something buzzed, then cracked.

I thought about it all: the wild insanity of disease, the magic of a simple smile, the newly washed polo that rubbed against my belly button.

Someone in the distance yelled, cursed, curled up in a sleeping bag. Armani people walked by, tripping on air. They crossed the street, wading through pools of murky street water.

I curled my toes to keep them warm in fraying Payless shoes. In the corner of my eye, bearded fathers fed their infants M&Ms.

What a hopeless place. I choose to live in.