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Chapter information

City Lights



Written by




Release date

May 8, 2014

Word count


Next chapter


(something's—a bit new)





(I see darkness.)


The people in this city, they're predictable, like clockwork; thin black hands ticking across a wash of golden city lights blinking faintly in the background.

When I lay against it, my back touches a faded brick wall,
Dirty and caked with grime and dust,
All of which has accumulated across its rough surface
Over ten thousand days.
It is my perch, my personal niche,
A forgotten corner of the universe,
Lost and left behind as shoes slap against worn concrete—
Their owners, nor sparing a glance left nor right,
Because oh, how unnecessary this filthy alleyway is to their own lives.
How easy it is to forget about them.
Associated with plenty of dirty happenstances,
Another fuzzy image superimposed onto curling yellow paper,
Another shrunken silhouette,
In the shine and glamor,
The crystallized sheen,
Of a great metropolis.
And that's what makes this alley so perfect
For it is only a shadow,
As am I.
Still and silent; so deceptively timeless,
While the world ages quickly around it,
I only become another shadow in a cold brick wall.
Freedom, I think, is terribly lonely—
But I stay here, and I watch.

(I see a lot of things.)


She has dark brown hair.


(Not many people see me.)


—"Oh, there you are!"—


(I'm nameless, I think.)


—"So, I accidentally bought too much for myself this time. A foot-long, you know. I usually eat six-inches...oh gosh, sorry, I told you last time I wouldn't bore you with my sub preferences and I'm at it again—ah, well, do you want a bit of my sandwich?"—


(I don't remember myself, exactly?)


She smiles at me, blue eyes wide and honest over the chunk of BLT in her outstretched hands.

(I see—)


There is a man whose hair is liberally streaked with soft silver, and if I had to guess I think his age would be around his late fifties or early sixties, who drops by regularly at the little bakery that's next to my secluded niche in the wall and I see every day. He whistles the same tune past gap-toothed teeth every day—"American Pie," I think it's called, a song from some far off place in the big wide world named the United States.

("American Pie." It has a nice tune, I think.)

He goes into the pastry shop, never staying for more than five minutes at a time, and always comes out with a different kind of donut. Sometimes with a heavy cream filling, others with chocolate frosting, and yet others with sticky sweet glaze and rainbow-colored sprinkles.

He never notices me.


(I see—)


There is a fair young man who is a clerk at a Swarovski, and I have watched, over the course of one year, him fall deeply in love with the child of some classy restaurant owner just down the street.

I am watching the day the two of them share their first kiss in the night, underneath the hazy yellow glow of a scuffed black streetlamp that has moths fluttering around its bulb, and I am still watching when they are wrenched away from each other by the red-faced, screaming restaurant owner, their fingertips hooking desperately around each other for one last touch before they are separated, forever.

Both of them were male, you see.


(I see—)


Once in a while, someone will see me, and they'll wave and smile a bit. Either that, or quickly turn their heads away.

I don't mind.

I see plenty of things from my corner of the universe; I see drug addicts, I see street performers, I see hippies—I see the other homeless, like me.

I see her, too, but only after she sees me.


(I see her, sometimes.)

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