I am an alley guy. I like alleys. I love them.
I prefer to reach point B from point A through an alley than any way else.
For every dark alley, there is a parallel dimension, a dimension of sidewalk, a dimension of street, a dimension of civility.
Each normal byway is accompanied by a sinister route that extends similarly but which houses the filthy alternative.
People are happy to take the street. They want to take the cleanest route. They wish to avoid the clutter, the rats, the vermin, the scum. They just want to get to point B without experiencing. The sidewalk of the main street is not living. It is sanitary and unreal.
I’ve always hated the sanitary and the immaculate.
It feels phony.
Ever since I was young, I loved the alley. Back in 1973 or thereabouts, parents sent us on our way to school without a worry in the world. I would take the sidewalk when there was no option. Once I began running concurrently with an alley, all bets were off! I gravitated to alleys. Alleys were soiled and intolerant of the mass appeal of main streets and crowded sidewalks and most of all, asocial. I loved the alleys as a child and they were my moment to be apart and snub convention. I’ve been in all kinds of alleys. Not all alleys are created equally. Some alleys are as clean as streets. This is especially true in middle to upper class areas populated by Whites and Asians. Alleys here are so nice that even your typical downtown homeless scoundrel would consider it a step up.
Some alleys are downright unearthly. Some alleys are strewn with every manner of garbage imaginable. Some alleys have vomit, shit, piss, trash, yellow mattresses, dead bodies (yes, I would venture to guess that more unidentified dead bodies are found in alleys than anywhere else), dead cats, dead birds, engine oil, discarded bottles of consumed liquor, tires, cabinets, unpaired shoes…it goes on.
This is life to me.
This is what I wallow in. the filth. the unlife.
I took alleys as a child. I got in fights in alleys. I picked stones up and threw them at other kids, and they did likewise. Alleys are the gutters of our soul. Alleys are the counterexistence to this magnificent civiliation we call our own. Alleys are where I live.
You can have your manicured sidewalks with lawns and happy homemakers watering the grass. Respectable people. That is the land of the living.
The alley…ah. The dregs live here!
The alley is my home and succor.
The alley is my solace. It is where I escape to forget your goddamned plastic lives.
I still take the alley.
My favorite drunken story of the last 5 years took place in an alley.
It was late and I was on my way home from a bar. I picked up a burrito and began walking home…through an alley, of course. At night.
Alleys at night are especially whorish. Inviting.
As I walked with my freshly made burrito, I dropped it, right in the middle of the alley. In the middle.
I was not to be deterred.
I was ravenously hungry, drunk, and determined. And cheap. I was not about to waste 7 dollars on a good burrito I lusted after at this moment.
Men risk their reputations for pussy.
I risked my health for food.
I ate that burrito, bastard!
It was full of grit. I remember spitting earth out as I ate it.
The next morning, I was still spitting grit out.
When I dropped the burrito, it unearthed layers of molten alley earth, the land I walk and live; I ate it all, I ate my existence. I consumed this fissure in civilization, this alley way that we avoid for our mental health.
I consumed filth and went to sleep and awoke the next morning with its sandy texture fresh on my tongue.
I lived the alley dream.
Because I am a man of the alley.
It is my home. And my nourishment.