As the elevator doors slide open, a heel materializes at its entrance, followed by a toppling woman, wine glass in hand. Once we reach the night air, we are greeted by a green balloon, bouncing down the middle of the street. A survivor if I've ever seen one.
E. turns to peer down a corridor. "The hookers are out. I always feel as though I am out too late if they are around when I am heading home."
Prostitutes as any sort of litmus test seems like very much like a big city phenomenon.
I've decided to ride the Night Bus tonight, rather than risking the peril of hunting for the elusive taxicab amongst the drunk and flailing. I'm now merely a bridge away from downtown, which makes small places with loud people vastly more tolerable. The path to the bus shelter, though, cuts directly through the "entertainment district".
The "entertainment district" is a very strange place indeed for the non-smashed. Even having consumed enough wine to hover at the giggling stage is not enough for this street to feel natural. I feel as though I stand out, like an anthropologist of sorts, merely by virtue of my flat shoes. Although I'm sure the canvas shopping bag thrown over my shoulder with a board game peaking out isn't helping with the blending.
At the mouth of any alley, three girls crouch precariously on their narrow heels. One is sobbing, the other has her arms thrown around her. The third is perched with a camera in hand, apparently seeking the perfect angle to catch the sparkle of her friend's tears.
As I wait for the bus, I slide my headphones in, but my finger hovers over the play button. I am torn between wanting to fully observe the scenes playing out in front of me, or simple distraction. I choose the former for five minutes, until eventually pressing my finger down. The world in front of me looks like the most surreal of music videos.
I need to be reminded to turn off the social scientist sometimes.