The alleyway is dark and stained, but the air is still – you are leaning, shoulder against cement, smiling like you’ve got a secret. The graffiti pulses in the moonlight. The stench of humans surrounds you, clogging your throat. This is where souls go to die. Among dirty syringes and broken bottles, the meek make a mockery of scripture. Feral cats claw at the scraps of trash, claw at each other. There is the silence of everything. Traffic and fights and yelling and sirens. There is no expectation of privacy here, and people do not go here to hide. They come to do things that make them feel hidden, lost in the tumult of mediocre dirtbag. You are just passing through, temporary dirtbag. You will not get lost in the alley. This does not make you superior, it makes you complicit. And lucky. Therebutfore the grace of something.
I don’t know where Kiggie went.
There are lights father up the beach, lights behind the dunes – lighters flick on and off, blasting sparks into the sky.
No Kiggie. Where the hell did he go? Why the hell does he always do shit like this? This is the last time, left to wander among strangers as the grunion run...
Silver flashes in the shallow water. Moonlight trapped in brine. It’s apocalyptic and exciting. It’s a smile tearing itself across your face.
Where the hell is that kid? What is wrong with him anyway?
But then he’s back grinning and what can you say? I mean, there’s lots to say, but the grunion wait for no man. No boy. No manboy.
I don’t know about you, but it’s not so bad – the salt in the air and the sound of the waves.
The flashes of silver fish in the moonlight.
It’ll keep you alive. Sort of. It will keep you alive, but you will be made of salt. Salt will replace your blood. But you will save money. And you will not die. You might die ... after a while. Just make sure that any opportunity to eat free food is an opportunity to cram diversity into your diet. Eat fifty carrots. The little ones. Not the big ones. You will regret it if you do. Do not eat free Ramen, you have ramen at home. Do not share your Ramen with your roommates because then you’re not even saving money and you could be eating a burrito. Your ramen can be stored anywhere, but the shelf in the closet is the prime space. The garage. The roomrage. You can add pasta sauce instead of the sauce packet if you cop some. Hint: People often throw away sauce jars with a serving left. Sometimes more. Ramen has become your master. Bow to ramen. You are now one of the salt people. Soon, you can be their king.
(prompts provided by a student)