Part III

it is a poor rendering,

And you find if you step too close to the wall you can see everything, X-ray like.

The city is moving, breathing, trains slithering through its buried veins, and people trickling.

Like buried bullets, office basements, a worker, a fight.

You hang onto the scene, trying to remember things that interest you and you know if you step back this opportunity will slip away. You stare.

It takes over thirty seconds to remind yourself that this isn’t real, your rendering means nothing, you’re just the attendant on level three of this dirty, brutalist garage.

How long have you been here? Are you getting paid? You can’t remember.

What is money, to you, or anyone anyways? Free your mind release your soul defy the man escape your personal prison. You chase the thought, the argument to its conclusion, stepping on the same stones as always, crossing the creek bed over this known path, missing rocks that wobble and hitting all the strong solid ones. Money, you conclude, is meaningless.

You try and wake yourself up more, before the garage seems to collapse on you. Maybe you’re hungry. There is only water. You drink, some. Someone pulls into your level, but you’re barely aware.

Is sitting here worth it? What are you doing this for? Who is your family?

You think back 100, 200, 1,000 years when this was forest, cool and low and green.

The garage is stuffy and warm, like a blanket that cannot be taken off. The air is heavy with fleece as you breathe it. Panicked, slightly, you pour water into your hand and wipe your face. Breathe.

Maybe this was a stream and even on the hottest summer days the water was cool and fast, and under the trees it was bearable. Those were the temperatures, conditions man was meant for.

You would be underground, surrounded by cool soil. The earth underground pulls itself to the same happy medium, regardless of surface, right? But not here, in this hot, lonely place.

The earth has been pummeled to near-submission and is hot, rebellious, heating the near underground. The buried Hades has risen, licking the surface, spilling our onto these forlorn streets, laughing and making man its puppets, leaving them empty but smiling.

The garage is nearly quiet, and a woman walks towards the elevator.

You grin.

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