Night on Trade Street
The night was energized, sporadic, and electric.
Fifteen minutes till the next railcar. At the intersection of Trade Street, anxious vehicles pack the streets, slowly inching forward while scurrying people pass in all directions. Trees obscure the roadway lights' stale yellow glow, causing morphed, other-worldly appearances. Intoxicated conversations litter the air.
Across the road, a street vendor grills under a makeshift tent. A winding line grows. I’m hungry, and it's getting late. The longing smells of street food couldn’t penetrate the billowing exhaust of the waiting cars.
A group of kids on bikes weave through the gridlocked cars. One boy wheeled into oncoming traffic. As one car screeched to a halt, onlookers gasped in fright. The boy narrowly missed the vehicle pivoting his back wheel at the last moment. The boy laughed back to the group, shrugging off the near-accident. The bike posse left, disappearing down a side street.
Vehicles of all types now scattered the road—cars with multi-colored lights, exotic machines, sputtering motorcycles, bass-blasting Cadillacs, and whizzing run-downs. From afar, I could see the railcar with its piercing white headlights. More people appeared and gathered on the sidewalks. Scooters zoomed past groups of walkers giving each other sour glances.
The railcar arrived. I leaned against the wall, bracing as the railcar sprang off. My eyes adjusted to the cabin’s bright overhead lights. Intercoms gave undiscernible announcements while a mixture of conversations resonated through the space.
Once out of the city, the skyline came into view. Skyscraper lights pierced into the stratosphere, bleaching the cloudy sky a dull gray. The town seemed lighter from afar.
I got off on Sunnyside Ave. The streets were dark with the occasional lamp glow on the house-studded road. I watched the gentle breeze graze the old tree branches. The darkness was different, taking on a sleepier form.
The night was a chameleon—an ever-changing figure molded by the surroundings. I saw both sides of it tonight.
Thanks for reading! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.