Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Parked Cars

The parking garage was dark inside, even during the day. Although it was an open air garage only two stories tall, light and fresh air seemed incapable of entering further than ten feet inside its parameter. Leaves and litter scratch their way across the pavement like a well manicured nail pressed and drawn against slate. Chewing gum, smashed into flat ovals, blackened with dirt, doesn't even try sticking to the soles of my tennis shoes anymore.

Once you passed the place where the sun no longer reaches, the garage smells like an ashtray. Carbon monoxide stings your eyes, and seems to coat your hair.

Sparrows peck at the cupcake wrappers that have blown against support posts and taste the cigarette butts collected in the pavement's seams. They hop over the faded yellow paint that breaks the floor into hundreds of parking spaces, and scatter at the arrival of the maintenance crew that has arrived to knock their newly constructed nests from the I-beams above to the ground. The sparrows cry and scold from their piles of debris, unsure what to do.

Suddenly it seems a decision is made. The birds swarm out of the garage as a group and settle amongst the trees at the edge of the property finding warmth in the sun. Walking past my parked car and out the side of the building I decide to try to follow them as far as I can.

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