Thursday, 17 December 2009

A couple of nights ago

The drunk took a step forward, and fell backwards, flat on his back.
There weren't too many cars on the road. But there were still quite a few people around. The shops hadn't shut as yet. Ten steps further, in an L-shaped section of a narrow lane, women stood with hands on their hips, waiting to part their legs if they won the bargain. They usually did. Beyond the lane, five hundred metres away, bright lights shone in a mall that had come up on a piece of land that used to be a textile mill. If this were a movie you could cut to the mall and the camera would take in the knot of people giving sound bytes to the TV cameras. “So what do you think about the awards?” “About the recession?” Outside the immediate glare of the lights, there were more questions. “So why don’t we catch up for a coffee?” “Better still, let’s do dinner right after this?” “Can I get you another drink?” “Can I have your card, your phone number, your relationship status?” Flickering matches held in wavering hands. Giggles mixing with smoke and rising, curling their way up the cold chimney of the defunct textile mill.

The drunk got up without help. He looked around, found his bearings and stumbled towards the L-shaped lane.
“So what’s the rate tonight?” he asked. 

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