concrete shades the yellow-lighted symphony. The peso-heavy take taxis; security valets motors steaming castle gates. I ask, which way is the 158? Indifferent, they say, walk straight neath the freeway — there is a bus stop two blocks away.
****. ****. ****.
Clocktower hands transpose Cindarella-brick to embers of electricity, a factory aside scrawled graffiti; fingers timidly ricket pitchfork fences. Palermo is 11 km north. Where is the north star?
I look straight ahead, repeating what the travel blogs said like, Be lost, don’t look lost; flappy plastic maps scream vulnerability. Be lost, not rich; iPhones in gotham alleys are batman signals. Walk fast. Don’t pay attention to the eyes that pass. Careless ponytails and brass hair attract glances back.
Two blocks deep into the homeless shelter beneath freeways, blankets in shopping carts toppled over, cars screaming away the symphony into shadowed silence between heels striking. Tunnel breath emerging on the other side, gasping past stacked Jenga towers, wired with antennas and empty clotheslines; families and crack ****** sleep inside. Safety’s herd thins as couples dart left down cobblestone tributaries that either lead to bus stops or parked cars. I walk straight ahead with sleeve-covered hands that swing like sticks in the wind. The symphony turns to heartbeats and footsteps plucking quickly; fearing the 180 behind, to zombies with sunken eyes, thirsty for a thirty-cent high.
True story walking at night in La Boca, one of Buenos Aires' most crime-ridden neighborhoods. Bless the soul who gave me bus fare back to Palermo.