the streets

(Their Host Tells a Story)

I first heard about the Streets in the middle of a long drunken evening, and the next afternoon I put it down to the sort of thing that seems to make sense the night before, but not the morning after, if you know what I mean. By the following evening however, I knew different. However, it was Barry who told us the story, so none of us took it very seriously. Barry was a man of tremendous passions, but he didn't always think things through. And, even as he reported it, I remember noting to myself that it wasn't from his own experience.

The whole thing started at Duffy's, of course. Everything did in those days. We had quite a varied group assembled around a large table, drink was flowing freely and we were engaged in solving all the various problems which plague the modern world, when Barry rushed in and sat down. "I just met a guy from Seattle!" he announced.

Matthew said, "who was fond of a bit of a prattle."

Barry looked up, startled. "What?" he demanded.

Matthew smiled. "Oh, I'm sorry," he said blandly. "I thought you were starting a limerick."

Barry shook his head. "No, this is important. From Seattle," he repeated. There was a moment's silence as each of us waited for someone else to jump into this.

"You never met anybody from there before?" I finally asked.

Barry sighed as he always did when he had to explain things to those of us who were just a bit dense. "Haven't you heard about the streets? Something weird has been happening. Some streets are moving around, so you can walk down a block near the docks and suddenly you turn a corner and you're near the bridge, or in the middle of the park."

There was another, longer silence after that, as you can probably imagine, and then we went back to our other topics of conversation. Barry eventually went over to the bar and ended up passing out on the pool table in the middle of someone else's game. And so, that's when I first heard about the streets. I dismissed the whole thing, but then a couple of nights later I heard a very similar story, from somebody quite a bit more reliable.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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