So, no flying car. Not anymore. It went boom.
No vehicle of any kind, for that matter. This kind of crimps my style, as you might expect.
But I can't just stay in The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. all night long. I can't and I won't. I'll get cabin fever, son. The kind that ends with me drunk as !@#$, horny as all !@#$, and trying to bring down the Moon with a big enough rocket.
And no one !@#$ wants that.
So tonight I'm going to go out on foot. I'm going to walk the streets of Neo York City, just another person in the multitudes.
(Another person carrying enough ordinance to blow up three tenements and a McDonalds, maybe, but still just another person.)
I pause a little too long by the door, watching the crowds go up and down the street. I see their eyes and wonder if I can stand to be seen by them. Am I really this scared of normal people? Or just unused to human contact without being in charge of it?
Come on you old !@#$ queer. One foot in front of the other. You and me and he makes three, up and down the streets of the city fair.
It takes a strong person to take these kinds of streets and not collapse inwards, like a snowman in the sun. The heaving mass of humanity presses up against, going this way and that, forwards, backwards, sideways, all ways.
The way is full of endless jostling and bumps, and hardly a "sorry" to be heard. But what would be the point, anyway? It's not like you know them, or will ever see them again.
No, son. "Sorry" is for people you want to remember you kindly. But here, it's all persons for themselves in the sea of the city. And with faceless waves battering to port and starboard, it takes me a full ten minutes to acclimatize to the concrete surf.
600 nail-biting, teeth-grinding seconds of not punching, gouging, and biting the noses off of the many people who get too close for comfort. 600 seconds, and then it finally occurs to the small, throbbing lizard portion of my brain that I really can just walk down this path without killing every person who steps into me.
After that, it's easy, and I can save my viciousness for the truly clueless and rude, of which there are far too !@#$ many. Thankfully there are several open trash cans between here and my destination, and the rude often fit perfectly after a few small alterations.
(Is that cheering or screaming from the masses? Running feet or applause? I can't tell, now.)
The route is an endless pattern of sidewalk and intersection, with white walkers and red hands guarding the spaces between. I'm tempted to ignore them but I seem to lose the will to do so after a while. The city has me, now, and I'm nothing more than a cell in her bloodstream, pumped along in time with the secret heart buried under the concrete and steel.
There's a cloud of noise settled around me, now, floating in time with my own two feet. Whistles and horns. Squeals and revs. Curses and hellos. Cellphone jibber-jabber. The occasional thing even I can't identify, but might be a cosmic string !@#$ something in the Oort cloud, or maybe one of those new cars backfiring.
Signs everywhere in every language. Coffee. Restaurants. Hair places. Boutiques. Corner stores. Bars. Pubs. Clubs.
More restaurants. More bars. More !@#$ coffee.
Eventually I get where I'm going. Bangkok Eight. The crazy man behind the counter has my order waiting and just sort of smiles at me. I'm a little afraid to know when and how he's smiled it before, given his unique job history.
(I also know not to ask.)
Food in hand, it's back the way I came. I should be going to get a katooey or two from the other other meat market, but for some reason I just can't do it on foot. I need the extra armor of a car around me to buy sex. It differentiates me from the skeedy weirdos who come up on foot, and usually go running the other way when they realize the ladies are packing something more than Asian delight in their panties.
I need that edge. It's part of the unwritten contract we have with this city. You wear ties and jackets for upscale diners, and drive mean cars for hooker negotiations. Everything else can be handled by explosive-tipped bullets.
Or a trip to the corner store to get some decent beer. Mr. Singh keeps a good rotating selection in the back. I pick out something from somewhere I've never had before and hope it goes well with Baby Head Noodles, or whatever the !@#$ I've ordered with my Tom Yam Goong tonight.
Back to The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. Back upstairs. I regain my sense of self in the long elevator ride up. I'm no longer lost in the crowd. I remember who I am and what I could have done to most of the people out there while I was amongst them.
I want to say !@#$ this. !@#$ this in the ear until the brains fly out the other side. I want to say I need a new car, as soon as yesterday.
But at the same time, I recognize something important. I'm someone different out there. I'm no longer just SPYGOD, lording it over the masses in a dangerous vehicle. I'm another man in Neo York City, just trying to get from here to there in one piece.
Maybe I need to go walkies more often, just so I remember what it feels like to be them.
(SPYGOD is listening to Mmm Skyscraper I Love You (Underworld) and wondering what the !@#$ he bought at the corner store)