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  • Time is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.
    --- Tennessee Williams

    Macurthur Park is melting in the dark. All the sweet green icing flowing down.
    --- Jimmy Webb

    
As I stepped out from the underground of the train station, and into the freshly washed boulevard that laid outstretched towards the flashing lights of the city, I was consumed with a feeling that something had just ended. Teams of leather jacket clad kids brushed past me in a hurry. I studied their mute faces during my pale stroll with headphones blaring some kind of nonsense into my ears which rendered the scene deaf. All that was left to discern in that fleeting, passing moment — when your body is overloaded by a flood of information sent to the brain in order to provide you with the data required to assess the approaching public — was that I was not a part of this future. So, I would turn to the past, I decided, standing there looking at the night.
 I continued down the street, my home not far away, just over on Franklin Avenue. The sideline view along Hollywood Boulevard during the trip was too inviting, nooks and crannies that the architecture of the street provided for unintended privacy was where all the action was. Vagrants, lovers or just inanimate things tossed and collected by the wind — all of it my petite muse.


    
All that glass, lit up by burning cigarettes, headlights, the glint off the button of a leather jacket. And the moon, with its incomprehensible influence on everything, reflected against the transparent walls that separated me from the vision they contained, keeping peace between reality and fantasy. Full service department stores, franchised discount depots, boutiques, luxury brand houses, lingerie shops, leather goods, optical, cupcakes, electronics, hell even the liquor store puts on some airs in their window with a decent show of single malts or burgundies.
 I stopped at one point to sway under the canopy of a pharmacy. It was then that I noticed — a couple, laughing at each other while standing in line at a bank machine. I watched for a moment, then approached the intersection where I needed to make a right turn to get off Hollywood Boulevard. I was close when they crashed towards each other in front of me. Slow motion as I walked by, the male arched his back, lurched forward and scooped his arm around the back of his female target, his lips set to full, for her. She pushed back once and he came at her again, but this time their heads came smashing together. Lightning bolts came shooting outward from their locked lips, sent towards the sky, sent towards anyone lost enough to notice — sent to me.


    
Then, two more lovers were standing in front of a large set of metal doors cut back from the wall of a six floor department store where I would often buy my underwear on Saturday afternoons. The doorway created a shelter for them, away from passersby. The music continued on in my head, thumping in the headphones, making all movement into a choreographed dance played to the darkness of a weekend night. I slowed my pace and watched the couple from the corners of my eyes in front of the industrial metal doors. The male, under 20, was a vision of beauty. Cut long and slender with hair swooping across the front of his face, his white jeans billowed over his ankles, pushed up by the chunkiness of his bright orange sneakers that were in contrast to everything else he was wearing and the utilitarian gun metal gray of the doors. She was in awe of him, his girlfriend. I was in awe of him. Envy mounted as I rounded the corner, towards home, towards thoughts of a simpler time. Towards lightning bolts, fresh skin, and passion without thought.
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