Note: I wrote this mini-essay several years ago as a writing exercise. Oddly enough, I still like the surreal antisocial murderous twist in the ending.
My hometown. Double- and triple-parked cars; public transport strikes; sidewalks eviscerated to hide fiber optic; the aquifer rising, cellars flooded when it rains. Hookers gain control of some streets at night, in waves, in fads: Brazilian boys; then Nigerian girls; then Albanian children. Opera, fashion, design. Two airports, no smoking signs ignored in both. Fetid railway stations, where bums and bag ladies make their home; one of them died last week; they called him “Nessuno”, nobody. Trade shows, conferences, fairs; times of the year when restaurants are fully booked and taxis are hard to find. University hospitals, research centers, places of higher learning. Multiplexes replacing traditional movie theaters. Giant bookstores opening, no one’s yet had the guts to offer customers somewhere to sit down while browsing. Sunday brunch, an imported habit; Halloween, another. Ski season approaching, well-to-do citizens wouldn’t be caught dead in the city during the weekend. Instead, teenagers from the hinterland swarm the streets of the center, with their stupid platform boots and identical piercings, you can tell they’ve grown up in homes that don’t have bookshelves because there aren’t any books, and it’s not even the kids’ fault, damn it. Outdoor advertising. Satellite dishes. Dog shit on the sidewalks. Parks teeming with syringes discarded by IV drug users. Can I choose the buildings to be torn down? The sociodemographic groups to be annihilated?
Instead, I hide indoors. And wait for a safe time. I will only come out on Easter Monday.