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drag the city late at night (13/365, 2/52)

Written for 52 Stories: a photo and story for every week of the year.


I can’t believe I’m doing this. Sighting a herd of college students, I shove down my incredulousness and ratchet the corners of my mouth into a smile that aims for sane, but probably registers at least an eight on the crazy scale. If I do look as institution-worthy as I suspect, it’s hardly a surprise, because I'm tired, desperate, and an inch away from snatching someone’s purse. The lead girl tries to duck away, but it’s too late.


As my friend bobbles impotently in the background, I roll out my story of woe for the fidgeting hostages, finishing it off with an outstretched hand. “So,” I grit out, “do you have any change?”


Disbelieving but now too trapped to scurry away wordlessly, they start to dig through their pockets. I think to myself that it’s a damn good thing I’m not a theater major, because there’s no way I could do this for a living.




It’s a clear October night in 2005. I’m a sophomore at AU, still learning the ropes but already convinced that I know it all. Of course, my self-confidence has been shaken a little bit by getting stranded in Dupont Circle with no way home, half an hour before my shift at the campus rec room starts. I grind my teeth as the college students head off. So far, I’ve made twenty cents.


Read the rest of the story here.


(Photo title from Everything but the Girl - Five Fathoms.)

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Taken on January 13, 2009