The sharp morbid odour of fresh city thunder and impatient rain clouds came in gusts and billows, catching up stale sour ribbons of what's left of the daisies, the daffodils, the pansies, so that they curled up through the electrified air and fell and rose and fell in wild figures-of-eight, stirring briefly even the heavy stagnant patches of the harsh dead smells of damp cardboard, old paint, and motor oil.
A still gray hue tainted the creams and the golds and the crimsons, stole lights and shades and turned them all damp blue, took what little struggling life there was from inside squalid furnished flats and scattered it thinly across the cracked pavement, drained the vibrant blush out from behind dingy human faces and left them the sickly yellow that they were, the greens and blues and ambers out of human eyes and left them lead.
Damp stale air smothered the vibrations of common life: children cried and couples quarrelled and telephones rang unanswered without a sound, only hollow pounding maddening silence compressed by the angry day and forced into the small chinks in every leaky roof and fractured wall and drafty window, pressing into every blood-shot eye and weakened lung and stiffening every worn-out joint.
A bleak morning view out a bus's rear window: the peeling neighbourhood street with its drooping trees and crumbling pavement draining away behind, through glass textured with grime and scrawled upon by people come and gone in large, brash letters "clean me." Elsewhere a phone number. Elsewhere a name. A heart with "A + B"
The downtown of high glass buildings, empty within, but flashing orange and green light from their oily surfaces, slowly fills as sleepy unshaven businessmen in wrinkly suits craving cafeine and nicotine tumble off early busses from the suburbs and cluster outside cheap cafes and tobacco shops.
The streets are littered with wet newspaper pulp from the morning before, clumped around telephone poles and packed into potholes. The sharp smells of spilled coffee and cigarette smoke startle the nervous system, while the sluggish morning light and the perpetual traffic hum dampens it.