The dark night of forsaken city streets, vistas of blissful angst and unholy pilgrimage. I have been there and known their inhabitants: deadly dames, drunken losers, dangerous hoods, crooked cops, dreamers of broken dreams, and flawed heroes.
LA, Frisco, Chicago, and New York. I know these cinematic cities though I have never been. A resident knows his locale, but the city in its ectoplasmic center is not reached corporeally, only in the phantasmagoria of a thousand and one shards of shattered night. Luminescent environs of a cosmic b-movie. Wet asphalt, fog-laden piers, deserted streets, rusting hulks at anchor, the neon glimmer of purgatory dives, cigarettes and booze, dark tenements, the skid of car tires, and the wailing sirens of the dead. Staccato rhythms and aching horns, crowded pavements and desperate loneliness.
One more fix, the last heist. Treachery, misplaced loyalty, and courageous infamy. The denizens of a nether world trafficking in sordid magic and lurid hopes.
A kiss before dying, the desperate lurch before oblivion, and the erotic click-clack of stilettos on pavement. Dank stairwells and silent corridors. Closed doors and hidden secrets. You break in and fall into a bottomless pool of black. Cut to a bare light-bulb burning on a current wired from hell. Lying on a steel-framed bed you stare through the bars of perdition at yourself a wraith in a cracked mirror on the ceiling.