Streets have flavors, to those conscious of the taste. The metallic taste of a raised expressway, the whole-grain fullness of a winding suburban lane, they are familiar to all of us, if we only noticed.
The alley behind the gym tasted of desparation. Thai restaurants, upscale bars, and posh botiques lit the street outside the alley, but somehow the light filtering through the shadows in the alley all seemed to come from the red neon signs outside of sleazy hotels. Manny had his own space just in from the mouth of the alley, apart from the garbage cans and broken pallets crowded behind him in the near-darkness. He leaned his shoulder against the dingy brick and nodded, relaxed, listening to a cheap tune the city played just for him. Manny knew the taste of the alley and alleys just like it in other parts of the city, and knew that the savor of desparation was sweet, sweet, sweet.
Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry