“Hey street boy, what’s your style?
Your dead end dreams don’t make you smile”
-“Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways
Red lights pulse from the club along with the bass line, a thrum through Stephanie’s chest that she can feel clattering across her sternum. Her heels are perilously tall, but hearing the power from the clicks they make on the city sidewalk tonight are worth it. The alley is filled with smoke from cigarettes, exhaust from cars, and steam from the underground kitchen of the Chinese place next door. Steph sees cabs scream past the mouth of the alley, but the blaring of their horns is a distant echo the closer she gets to the club’s entrance, where the music seems to ooze around the edges of the steel door. The bouncer, leaning against the graffitied brick wall, seems bored. He’s ripped, Steph notices. She sidles up, prepared to flirt her way in, but when the bouncer gives her the once over- short skirt, slinky top, high heels, made-up face- his eyes still look dead. He waves her in after leaning over to check her ID, and Steph pouts a little, but his eyes never change. She lets herself be absorbed by the music and has forgotten the dead-eyed bouncer after ten minutes.
It’s funny how two people can pass within kissing distance without ever noticing each other’s humanity.