A grocery store stands across the street from my apartment; a rather unsightly backdrop. It's a large, foreboding building, a building wholly discarded by humanity, left to inhabit the stretches of empty pavement surrounding it in lonely abandonment. But wait; there was a woman... so suddenly she appeared. She was young. She was alone. She slinked across the parking lot and swiftly made her way into the building in a scene of remarkable grace. And then, even more amazingly, there was a man. He too was young. He too was alone. He too slinked across the parking lot. He too endeavored to scavenge the building (one would assume). I watched.
The woman emerged from the building just as the man approached, very obviously startling both individuals. She pulled a pistol from her waist with startling agility, and pointed it directly at the man. He recoiled back, ducking his head, shaking his raised hands wildly in surrender. The woman stepped forward, gesturing at him with the weapon. The calm of the early morning air became tense with malice and greed. She wanted his backpack. She knew she was in control. He appeared to plead with her, begging that she spare his life, begging to retain ownership of his bag and its contents. The woman shook her head and gestured at the bag again, impatient and determined, her finger prepared to obliterate him should he refuse her demands. The man hesitated, staring into the fiery eyes of this new unexpected foe, staring into the destructive darkness of the gun barrel hovering relentlessly before him. He turned abruptly and ran. He gambled. The woman did not hesitate. An explosion of sound shattered the silence. The man's forehead erupted like a geyser, and his limp body crumpled to the ground. She knelt beside his body and hurriedly rummaged through his belongings, taking three cans from his bag and placing them into her own, and then as if nothing happened at all, she was gone.
The world is still. The world is in turmoil. The world is in an ostensibly contradicting state of quiet disarray. My kitchen window provides a scene of antagonistic peace: a calm breeze rustles the languid leaves of an old maple tree; the branches sway rhythmically to the disconsolate tune of a distant wind chime, clinging and clanging in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness; a pigeon lands next to a solitary body soaking in a crimson pond of its own life source, surveying the parking lot for scraps of food and then taking flight once more. Day in, day out, I watch from my window; I watch the shadows expand and contract as the sun swoops across the sky; I watch the stars make their tentative appearance before retreating back into hiding; I watch the nothingness of every uneventful day unfold, just like the day that preceded it.