A three-minute shortcut through the crimson stars.

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July 31st 2012
Published: July 31st 2012
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One of the many
As I was walking home this evening I made a detour through a pedestrian square...

8:00 PM

Red juicy flesh dripping from their jaws. The sidewalk stained and squishy. I step in some of the discarded pieces. Some sticks to my shoe. It doesn't phase me because the sweet plum scent fills my surrounding, as eveningers continue chewing and chipping away at their fleshy fruits. Tunes glide into my skull while my headphones buzz out the current choice made by my iPod's shuffle mode. Over my music, I can barely here the oriental song alive around me. Those who are not feasting on the ripened reds, gather and swirl about the square; Dozens. A local community appearing to dance in unison to both their own echoing music, and the sounds ringing in my ears. Each of their arms and feet all moving simultaneously with each note and beat in my head. Grinning, I watch the shadows. I imagine it all in slow-motion and for a moment I fantasize that I've been sucked into a scene from a foreign film about self discovery.

8:01 PM

The fleshy fist attached to the bottom of my sneaker bumps into the pavement with each motion, ever-so-slighty bouncing me up and forcing a little pep into my step. The haze lingering from the onlooking smokers melts into the plum perfume and tantalizes my nostrils. I smell. I listen. My eyes close for but a moment. They open, and I can see. I can see dazzling stars, not in the sky, but racing around a hundred neon signs. Chinese symbols. Charisma. Character! Children rollerskating. Dogs straying. Towers scraping. Windows Reflecting. Tiles supporting. Laughter. Innocence. Family. Existence. LIFE.

I reach the end of the square. I gaze over my shoulder. I let my ear buds fall around my neck. I scrape the plum guts off my shoe and the music fades...

8:02 PM

I turn the corner. I can no longer see the 'stars.' I clumsily step in a puddle. It's dark, and has been for awhile. A single ruby neon sign fizzles to stay lit, and intermittently paints the damp ground beneath me a flickering red.

8:03 PM

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