Monday, July 25, 2005

Passive Tense

These kids were about 16, maybe even younger. Doesn’t matter. In this city, at this hour, we are all equals. If it were 3 pm, we would walk by, not even noticing the other, despite a casual wary eye contact. But now, we chat. There is something about 3 am on a Friday night or Saturday morning that allows skipping normal social preparation before engaging in conversation.
"You see this girl right here?" He points to a young innocent blond with a "boy watch" shirt and a diagonal backpack strap dividing up half of her body to each of her small breasts. "150 dollars, and you can have ALL of that." He grinned, and she shyly giggled. Maybe with the appropriate lighting, her face would have tinted red. Actually there were two of them. One was more promiscuous appearing than the other, but essentially they where identical. Two little white girls in the big city, hanging out with their imaginary pimps, getting into trouble. Another friend comes out from the background and offers up the same girl for 50 bucks. What a curious retail strategy. There’s a tattoo half way down her belly obstructed by the presence of tight low cut jeans. Now there’s a sale, 2 for the price of one. Buy one, get one 30 percent off. Is there no better parody of capitalism than fake juvenile prostitution? We are not pedophiles here, we are sociologists. Studying a culture which long ago forgot its reason for grinding ahead. These kids dropped out of high school. We’re graduated, and graduating, from college. And yet here we are, 3:30 am in love park on a Friday night or Saturday morning. The only thing separating us is that you are standing over there, and I over here. And even that distinction is an arbitrary one.

"Okay, 50 cents! Come on that’s a good deal." Laughter sprinkles out into the empty roads of a sleeping city.

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