Urban Renewal

December 16, 2007
The grayness of the day only adds to the shadows that cover this part of town, the part directly south of the freeway and west of the river. The towering housing projects, remnants of 1960s Great Society idealism, ensure that no light reaches the gritty streets below. The alleys smell of an ungodly combination of urine, stale beer, and Dumpster, a stench made only more stifling by the heat and humidity that precede the coming storm. And in one of these alleys lies a boy, a boy of no more than fourteen, his black skin shiny with sweat, blood leaking out of his head and slowly pooling around him.

And the few who walk past the entrance to the alley and catch a glimpse of the boy shake their heads, mutter, "This city," and keep walking. They do not even think that he might still be alive; after all, everything else is dead.

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