It grew dark and I sat waiting by the brick wall as I always do; waiting for the walk back up to home. A man approached me, detailed the death of a young friend, handed me a flier, asked me for sympathy and for my presence in half an hour at the now-clean concrete spot where he had been beaten to death. I put the paper in my bag, unnerved by the face on it and more so by the words detailing the Mardi Gras riots. He left. I sat longer, thinking of Bourbon Street in New Orleans and the long lean legs and limbs in the windows, the ever-damp concrete gridded with neon light and the false privacy of old yellow bulbs.
Wandering back to Seattle and the unnamed abuse I didn't see. The twenty year old who never got up off the pavement. The thousands of people who have sat or lay on the harsh ground of the square I was in. The broken voices and people.
"You okay?" A young man, tipping his head to see under his hat. "Need help?" I clearly don't blend in with the crowd who have spent their collective years sitting here. I do need help but I shake my head. His offer is for a phone, not for holding my skin together as I endeavor to grasp the depth of the faces that I walk past every day.