Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, March 2, 2007

no blades

i saw a sign yesterday at a webcafe outlawing blades. the sign read, in english, "no blades" on a german storefront window. the blades had a picture with a red slash through them, in the universal language of prohibition.

it referred, alas, not to knives, but to rollerblades.

i walked inside. i looked at all the dangerous people there. teenage girls with purses and designer jeans giggling while they plot their latest caper over mapquest. an older man with a backpack hunched over a flirty-at-fifty chatroom that was all code for jewel heists, not sex. a group of boys watched videos on youtube, every one of them was just biding their time between muggings. they mug, they use the money to surf at a webcafe until it runs out, then they pull out their blades and mug again.

a young man and a young woman had samurai swords in a bag. i didn't stop to check if they were real, or toys. regardless, they were legal because they were blades that didn't come with wheels.

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