Saturday, November 19, 2011

209/365 --Playlist Story-- inspired by "Via Con me" by Paolo Conte

I love the city streets in the evening. At least the good streets, the ones with the independent restaurants and little boutique shops where the people who make more money than they know what to do with shop at. On a night like this, without rain, the air is clean and smells of baked foods. A coffee shop is calling out to me now I do believe. It thinks I should drink a mocha, and I'm half convinced that I should, but I want to linger in the street a bit longer.

The sides of this street are filled with parked cars. The passengers are patrons now, eating their gourmet food over loving gazes, or in some cases, barely contained seething anger. Their faces are lit in yellow light, behind glass. They don't see me. People never see me. I walk the street nonchalantly. I see a car that looks promising. I check the VIN. It's a match. I take a set of keys out of my pocket and lean against the car. The keys are just a ruse in case anyone sees me. It looks normal to take out keys before you get into a car, but what I really do is pop the lock with a strong magnet. It's my own technique. There's actually quite a bit of skill in it, in working the lock the right way, but there's no fingerprints on the window, no awkward fumbling, no hiding a metal rod down my pants.

I open the door and slide into the passenger side and close the door behind me. I do a quick search of the cabin, then open the glove compartment. I slip the package from my jacket pocket and place it under several layers of maps. I see loose photos on top of the maps. Who gets photo prints these days? I picked them up and riffle through them. Small children, probably grandchildren, given the photos are prints. Oh good luck to this family. There's a little white dog in a photo taken from above. I hate that when people stand over a pet or a small kid and photograph it all foreshortened. You've got to get down on its level. I take the photo of the dog and fold it up twice and put it in my pocket. I leave the car.

The street is still just as calm and the air is just as clean. I feel somehow lighter, glad to be free of that package. A couple passes me by. They're laughing. I smile at them. I continue on. I stop by a trash receptacle. I take off my jacket and hold it between my knees. I unfasten the lead vest. Man that thing is heavy and hot. The outer fabric must be saturated with alpha particles from the Americium. I drop the vest in the trash and bury it with some stray soda cups. I fling the jacket in on top of it all with a flourish, and continue on my way.

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