The sight lines are sinewy as elbows on old men. The women are tough and smart and beautiful. The streets are smelly and obstreperous. The nights do not end, but stretch out over time like oceans of chaotic promise. The day heaves its breathless asthmatic breath.
The city offers few intelligible utterances, opting instead to let the guttural hum of its machines issue forth at will. Then, suddenly, a warning flies past the throng, unexpected.
“Boy, you better know what you’re doing.”
“I do not,” — the chorus, headstrong.
Brusqueness is the language of metropolis the same way that romance is the language of the tropics.
Who has been warned more times than an artist? A criminal. Who has been wrong more times than a criminal? A priest. Who has been summoned more times than a holy man? A prostitute. Who has been distrusted more times than a working girl? A lawyer.
Here, so many have landed to seek communion with time and fate. Here, in the petri dish of a modern America, in Gotham, voices and bodies pull the delicate strings of the puppet show that the same eyes and ears bear witness.