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Again as her office windows ran with the acid rain she felt the urge to get up and go sprint towards the glass, leap headfirst from the building’s 64th floor,*KRAASHHHH* and disintegrate before her bones broke on the bridge.

Ah! An unusually wet summer in Seattle; though unusual now seemed to be the usual; and absurd now the surd. Whenever she felt the v.e.r.y. NON intentionally-invoked warmth of Hope sprout deep within her chest cavity, as she sat so still there in her dirtquiet office nooked on the 32nd floor, Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™, would actually allow herself, for a single, solitary moment, to think that just maybe the brutal storms might let up yet, oh the stubborn fall storms settled so high above the sullen smog;—when, w/o doubt, as the evening temperature dropped and the shrink-wrap atmosphere shrunk, and the heat lightning root cross the sky & again the rain came down from on high & again the streets hissed until the next day nigh when she would Hope against all Hope for clear daylight once again.

 

That summer she had spent soooooooooooooooo much …time… com-pletely alone, in allll sense of the senses, sitting basically motionless there on her Snorkl™, sooo much time indoors that she had completely quit missing human interaction, and, instead, now missed her Snorkl™ most of all, and the corrosive rain which gave her an excuse to avoid other human beings pretty much altogether during a storm; when she was caught at home, that is. And when she was caught at work? Her office on the 32nd floor of Canopy Condominiums™ became her home and hole; and she a slave to its occupants. It was a hellish existence. A usually wet summer in Seattle; her third consecutive week sleeping within her office, the highly surd Canopy Condominiums™.

Canopy Condominiums™ was a 64-story building on the corner of 7th Avenue & James Street in Seattle W.A., a highly desirable waterfront property located just off the I-5 interstate overpass which had recently undergone a $300 quintillionthe United States Dollar had recently undergone a surging inflation after the initial West Coast floods had settled; the devastation effectively turning U.S.D. to 2-ply T.P. 5-year renovation, which, in addition to bolstering the concrete foundations of a 64 mile stretch of road added loooooooong sections of corrosive-resistant cover(which unfortunately grew increasingly littered day by day, walls of debris causing biblical traffic jams with untold dozens of victims fossilized beneath the garbazch), a massive project which had been gridlocked in legislative purgatory for over a decade before a brutal El Niño thrashed the west coast and threatened to halt both north and southbound traffic across the city’s reshaped backbone. Pike Place, Pioneer Square, and a good chunk of the International District was now totally beneath water. The Space Needle, on the crust of Queen Anne Island, now overlooked a small channel towards First Hill and Squire Park. However despite perpetually rising water levels and much of Seattle’s population migrating south towards Des Moines and Kent where rent was hundreds of millions cheaper and there was more dry land to settle, Seattle’s new downtown real estate market was booming; Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™ had just the week prior signed out a one-bedroom unit on a one-year lease @ $1,248,163,264/month. She was undeniably at the zenith of her career.

However, there was a problem. Hundreds of homeless denizens were now gathered shoulder-to-shoulder beneath the I-5 bridge directly across the street from Canopy Condominiums™ with a scarce amount of food and drinking water. Over time the non-drinking water levels had risen about 3/4th of the way up 6th & James and currently crept ever closer to 7th. Put quite simply there was not enough shelter beneath the bridge’s overhang to house the hundreds of people who had gathered and formed a community there; and, as the water rose, the people taking shelter beneath the bridge were pushed further and further up 6th & James until a weekly vote had been instituted to exile members of its community (which became known as Tent City 8) out of necessity. Since the voting process had begun, the impromptu settlement quickly became a humming humanoid hive, rife with complex commerce and perplexing politico; each citizen of Tent City 8 maneuvering in some way or another to justify their position beneath the bridge. There were talks of doing a reality television series involving the daily goings-ons of Tent City 8, but, after public outcry, the show was scrapped; there is said to be a pilot episode floating around on the Old Web but besides a few less-than-sane sources, no credible record of this material is known to exist and has evaded all search engine indexing.This particular problem greatly jeopardized Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™’s position within the core Canopy Condominiums™ corporate hierarchy; leasings were at a 3-year low despite the surging popularity of Seattle’s waterfront within über wealthy circles of the Pacific Northwest. The problem, and the problem alone, Cyntonia had deduced (with about three seconds of thought), was driving prospective renters away in droves, and if things were not due for a change, the building owners were ready to bowl skulls straight down the top of James Street into the creeping waters of Elliott Bay, with Cyntone Patagone’s head being a rather enticing toss from the tippy-top of James allllllllllllllll the way down the loooooooong stretch to the dark and stillll water which crept up 7th Avenue; rather enticing even to someone without any professional stake in the matter at all, Cyntonia herself had to admit.

Any feelings Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™ had towards the homeless population of Seattleproblem could be distilled into little more than a few drops of mild irritation and faux-pathos, although in reality (certainly not realty) it was probably something closer to extreme and chronic anxiety. The problem, despite a nearly constant flagellation by the media, seemed only to mmuuuullllllllttttttttttttttttiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppllllyy itself across Seattle and pour out onto the doorstep of her suddenly highly lucrative position as Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™. This was the equivalent of a plantar’s wart on the heel of her still quite tender career.

She had increasingly encountered the problem as the population of Tent City 8 metastasized; mostly the odd shove-out begging for a spare ten grand here or there, scrounging the dumpsters for hundred dollar bills, tossed away by the pallet, or used as toilet napkins; and she was content to keep it that way, although, of course, she would never admit that out loud, in front of anyone, at any time, on any record, ever, for that matter. However due to the recent uptick in complaints from the tenants of Canopy Condominiums™ re: Tent City 8 in addition to the microscopically low leasing numbers, Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™a title she had begun to skip in her mind, if she could not with her mouth or eyes had been forced to grapple hand-to-hand w/ the problem: an unusually high number of Taco Tuesday board meetings centered around the subject which eventually were rescheduled to Thirsty Thursday, as well as community outreach programs which generally involved her politely handing over a wicker basket of produce to a random representative and stiffly posing for a photograph or brief memorystream which would be paired with its own paragraph in the Canopy Condominiums™ Community Update. In her past she had dealt with the problem as anyone else had, in small moments of impromptu generosity; giving away a handful of rotting Pink Lady apples to the gentleman who was caught stealing a sack of salted peanuts from the QFC for a dying pigeon covered by a suede Lakers cap splayed out in a cardboard shoebox, or handing over a few dollars to the woman covered in a garbage bag sitting all scrunched up all alone beneath the dripping lip of a storefront when Cyntonia lived there for a summer in the basement apartment along 2nd & Lenora before downtown proper flooded. Kind, true gestures, even if they were made mostly out of guilt. Generally Cyntonia Patagonia outright ignored the problem out of fear. She also found increasingly little time for empathy.

But there was always one man in particular who puddled in Cyntonia P., Building M.’s memorypools. At the moment she was not wearing her Snorkl™, and so had no way to view the memory except within her own mind, where it existed mostly as a few words. This one man in particular carried an electric guitar, a Fender facemelter powered by a black box which emitted the sludge-soaked sound of each madly vibrating string. There was a pedal he pumped with impressive consistency to generate the scant amount of electricity required to power the amplifier. Mostly she had observed him from afar and above; the window of her office on the 32nd floor—and cast her eyes away from up close, and her ears, too, mentally turning his volume down to 0. And it seemed to her as though most others had also decided to put this man in particular on mute. He sang those songs to himself—a shove-out who had found temporary respite from the abrasive storms beneath a windblown car chassis carcass, which began quickly to rot and cave in at the hood after an intermittent and bitter beratement by the rainstorms. But then one week in April an erratic clear weather pattern interrupted the spring’s acid showers, and each day that week, when she passed him by on her walk to work, he asked, very bluntly, if she wanted a song. She declined each time, usually w/ silencethough had she made the decision to sit down and chat w/ the man, and asked him not for a song but for something of himself, then he would have said to her: I been homeless since I’s sixteen. Tried to kill my step-brother. They sent me to a psyche ward and then after all that was all done I came back home and they decided they didn’t want me to live there no more. I’m not like that no more. I got anger issues. I been good for a while now. I’m not like that. But sometimes people’s piss me off is all. People say shit and it’s just like RRGGGG, man, CHRIST. Tell you, though: I’m not goin no jail. I’m not goin no jail for doing what I do to another person, another, like, human. God it would be so easy and god it would feel so good to just RRAAAA! you know, WHAM!, haha, but, now, instead, I just go out and punch one of them fake trees they got planted out there in the sidewalks is all. That’s why my hands are all fucked up like they is and shit. And sometimes—when I get really, really, really, really mad, I hit my head—just smash my face against some tree just WHAM and I can feel the blood dripping down my face… That’s why Amber’s all scared of me now cuzza my fucked up face situation. She been with me forever though, man, five good years, now, solid. She holds me down. I love her with all my heart like I would never HURT her like I love you I love you like with all my heart but it’s like—psht—that’s why she’s all blown up like the way she is now. That’s another thing that makes me want to smash my face into a tupperware tree. Because she don’t do nothing all god damn day! We got comfortable! I’m at least giving it a try! And I try, you know! I been working out! And I go and I do it in front of her! Work out! To try and get that idea in her head! Work out! Do somethin! And I like to do things, man! That’s why she so scared of me! But it’s like man, my little man down there—it ain’t happening for him! You know! And I swear I would never HURT her but man!, until one day she responded to him with words:

‘Sorry,’ Cyntonia began, ‘Not today.’

‘Not today?’ the man said, flatly. ‘Not any day!’

Much too mortified to respond, Cyntonia P., B.M. turned her head, strode on, and shoved the interaction clear from her mind. She reached the south entrance of Canopy Condominiums™, took the elevator up 32 flights, and when she looked down from the window in her office to the eroding vehicle so far down below, the street singer was gone.

At once, she rushed down the stairwell, all 32 flights, bursting from the south entrance of Canopy Condominiums™ with little breath and scanning up and down the streets for any sight at all of the man.

At first, there was zero; only the rusted hull of the upturned wreckage which he had abandoned; but,—there, up James on 8th, there he was—posted up at another corner, singing some vaguely familiar tune to himself. She dashed up the street and asked him:

‘Will you give me a song now?’

The busker turned and looked at her w/ giddy-gidgids gurgling in his gut. He cleared his throat, strummed the leprous strings of the guitar, and sang:

 

yAnd oh~ the peppercock~! the pepp-er-cock!

 

yIt spice-s mehee soO0oO0~!

 

the peppercock~! the pepp-er-cock!

 

I scratch it to and froO0oO0~!

 

the peppercock~! the pepp-er-cock!

 

How pleasure pains me soO0~!

 

To be frank it was utter shite.

Offensive, actually. With overwhelming force, a la airplane nausea, Cyntonia felt that _crushing_ second-hand embarrassment, the kind which makes one want to turn oneself inside-out and crawl deep into a musty dark hole and then proceed to die, super, super painfully.

She flung the peddler a few grand, falsely told him she loved the tune, and walked away.

During the storms (which had quickly become some numb routine, as any little disaster one experiences chronically) when traveling became a major risk, Cyntonia P., like most people, took shelter inside whichever building she happened to be caught in when the storm flashed, which could last anywhere from two minutes to two weeks. For Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™, this usually meant either home (a super-deluxe 124 sq. ft. micro-flat in West Seattle @ $136,122,448/month) or her workplace Canopy Condominiums™; for the former by chance, and for the latter, cruel, twisted fate.

Though determined to maintain her personal comfort at all costs, Cyntonia Patagonia had dedicated hundreds of billions of dollars and even more’s worth in time making her office a home. Obviously no personal artifacts could be displayed on or around her desk. So instead of personal amenities, Cyntonia splurged on personal obscenities. There was a custom-designed shoe rack which housed her 32 pairs of work shoesone for each day of the month, plus an extra emergency pair, not at all because she was frivolous, but because the webbing of her feet were x-tremely sensitive and required the freshest pair of shoes possible to minimize chaffing, each of the 32 pairs completely custom-made to fit her freakishly large feet and wide array of fashion needs. The trillion-dollar shoe rack periodically spritzed a potent deodorizing/anti-fungal formula straight into the musky toe pocket of each pair. There was a cozy twin-sized bed which rose from the floor at the foot of her desk. There was also an AM machine in the corner, for whenever she needed to synthesize a plate or a cup or a knife. And to further promote an air of hominess she had also purchased plastic houseplants with the faint appearance of decay.

Today a prospective renter whose application had been stalled in the queue for more than three weeks, one Ms. Glorietta Bumperdoople, a tretrigintillionaire Snorkl™ software mogul who pioneered virtual peer-to-peer intercourse, was scheduled to tour unit 6400, the penthouse suite lease which would bring in no < than $36,122,442,841,683,366.72/month minus utilities. The account singlehandedly could save Cyntonia Patagonia’s prestigious & personally pivotal position as Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™.

Thankfully, the pandemonium which raged in the skies seemed to stagnate, and soon wither to a feeble, morally-questionable shoving match. [!] On cue Cyntonia received word via her Snorkl™ that Ms. Bumperdoople had arrived, and, despite the inclement weather, only a few short minutes late for her tour.

 

Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™ no sooner raised her head and there, plopped in her office, so frishyfreshly hydraulic-pressedly into a pageant-groomed suede suit, stood there the curdled flesh package that was Ms. Glorietta Bumperdoople. The woman’s beef flaps seemed to be folded up& up beneath each layer of suffocating cloth. A supremely acidic mystery secretion so slowly seeped from her every g a p i n g pore and was soaked by the infinite flagellated suede flagellum.

Cyntonia stiffly shot up. She extended a shriveled hand. ‘Glorietta? Cyntonia. We spoke briefly via Snorkl™.’

‘Right. Refer to me as Ms. Bumperdoople,’ said the name’s owner, leaving Cyntonia’s hand eagerly extendified and undignifiably unacknowledgicated. ‘Are you the one showing me the unit?’

Rain pittered the office window64. Briefly Cyntonia considered pinching and tearing off the itchy portion of skin located on the back of her neck clean from her body, and then smacking the flesh to the window and wiping the blood all over her cheeks and shrieking at the top of her lungs. ‘Yes, Ms. Bumperdoople, right this way,’ Cyntonia instead acerbically acquiesced, further extending her lonesome hand back towards the doorway, where the private elevator Ms. Bumperdoople had just been pried from was located.

32 beeps later the brushed aluminum doors split apart and the pair had arrived on the 64th floor, the penthouse suite. Across the aluminum walls a greeting materialized:

WELCOME HOME, PROSPECTIVE RENTER.

TODAY IS: DAY, XX:XXA.M. 20XX | 9℃ |

USSIAN EMBASSY BOMBED, 64 DE | SOOPERpooper HIGH SCORE: 36,122

CLIMATE CONTROL: 21.1℃ | FLOOR HEATING: ON |

NOW PLAYING: SERENITY (CANOPY CONDOMINIUMS™)… | ●●●●○

As you might imagine the penthouse was disgustingly ornate. 8,163.2 sq. ft. in total. Full terrace. Six bed. Two kitchen. Fully-loaded media centres. State-of-the-art jacuzzination station. Expansive wine cellar. Going any deeper into detail would only incite the ravenous appetite in those of us less fortunate than the fine Ms. Glorietta Bumperdoople in a manner which could only be described as cruel and unusual. Cyntonia executed her grand tour of the condo with magnificence, scarcely gritting her teeth as the emerald jaded Ms. Bumperdoople even upturned her gullet in surprise and nodded her head once or twice at a few of the finer touches, all of which Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™ was only too quick to point out.

After an hour they had circled back to the gallery, and the two made a left to the conference room. The discussion seemed to be swimming right along, and, breaking through the surface, just a few short strokes away, Cyntonia spotted shards of light, oxygen, a hand, when, without warning, Ms. Bumperdoople dropped an anchor on her spine:

‘… And as for the homeless,’ the promisee uttered, cocking her head to the conference room’s wall-to-wall ceiling-to-ceiling southwestern window which overlooked the 24-lane overpass below, and, through the concrete slits of the eroded bridge, the technicolored quilt of swissed-out tents and sleeping bags which seemed on their own to breathe in and out and out and in breathe. Ms. Bumperdoople cleared her throat of phlegm. ‘How is this problem being dealt with?’

The question was rather direct. However at this moment Cyntonia Patagonia was triumphantly unphased. She had expertly fielded this exact question (phrased in so many polite repositionings) time and time again and again with time, she had repositioned her answer until it stood at its currentyet past, for us iteration, three (3) total sentences clocking in at an efficient ~30 (thirty) words.

‘Yes. That is an unfortunate situation we at Canopy Condominiums™ are acutely aware of,’ Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager recited, clapping her hands, wrinkled and rope-veined, tightly together, fingers slightly iinntteerrlloocckkeedd so the hands appeared to meld into a monolithically thick fleshly appendage of feeling. She executed each phrase w/o feeling, finishing as a machine whirs down slow to stop its gears from grinding to a halt: ‘And at the moment we are ac-tively working along-side Seattle police to rectify that un-fortunate situation.’ Outside, the report of a rifle; or a clap of thunder.

Ms. Bumperdoople scrunched her nose up and held it there. ‘It’s just not right, is it?’ The prospective buyer’s focus slowly shifted back to the window and the freeway, the oval woman’s satin sash swaying with the turn of her hip, tickling the polished glass. From the outside, a sworl of acid rain wound up and thwacked the windowttTTTTHHWWUUMM!; and, Ms. Bumperdoople, stepping back quick in startleation, was nearly tangled in her own waistrope.*HHaaKK—!*

‘There’s no need to be alarmed,’ said Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager with a firm confidence known exclusively to her within the confines of this very building, walking then gingerly to the window and rapping her knuckles against the pane.*DONK~!* ‘These windows are thirty-two layers thick. Highly resistant borosilicate(81% silica, 15% boric oxide, 4% alkali) glass. Each layer is coated in an anti-corrosive resin that will outlast our children. And, of course, the building’s outer walls are regularly maintained for corrosive damage, an expense that will come out of your utilities bill, as we’ve discussed.’ She looked reassuringly to Ms. Bumperdoople. ‘You are safe inside this place.’

‘It’s not the rain I’m worried of…’ remarked Ms. Bumperdoople, casting her glance downwards.

‘Ah. Mm. Yes. Mm. Well, Ms., we have a full team of trained security you can call around-the-clock. They patrol the area regularly. And, as you are aware, all three entrances are locked behind encrypted passwords which are tied to your Snorkl™.’

‘But it’s just not right,’ Ms. Bumperdoople said, seemingly to her own self. ‘That these people just live out there. No, it is not, not right. Isn’t that everyone’s space? No. See, I pay for my space. Do these people? Do these people pay? No. When you cannot pay for your space you must be evicted, I mean, that’s really just how things work and have always worked and always will work. No?’

Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager put on her understanding voice: ‘Mm. It’s an unfortunate situation.’

‘Well. They can have the streets,’ Ms. Bumperdoople said with a snort, eagerly watching the smoky rain pelt I-5’s protective covering. ‘And what then explains the exorbitant cost of the rent for this unit?’

‘Yes, since Downtown Proper flooded, First Hill has become the First and Only Hill, ha ha. And the prices on Queen Anne Island! They’re sinking, only, literally! Ha! Ha!’ A hard lump formed in Cyntonia’s throat.

‘You aren’t wrong,’ said Ms. Bumperdoople. ‘And, going overseas is completely out of the question.’

‘Yes, totally,’ said Cyntonia, leaping madly on this floating deal debris. ‘Sure, the highrises of Beijing are key-wwwwite beautiful, but the mandatory smog filtration masks really just put a damper on your wardrobe.’ She did another hard fake laugh which hung in the recycled64 air like nausea. The lump in her throat began to roll uphill.

‘You’re right,’ Ms. Bumperdoople said. ‘An unfortunate situation.’

‘Well, by all means, take all the time you need in considering this, Ms. Bumperdoople, please,’ said Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager with a brutally practiced patience. ‘I’ve got the unit reserved in your name for two weeks prior to signing the lease, and, afterward, there is a two week grace period, should your mind change; please, take all the time you need.’

‘No, I won’t need to take any time, no.’

‘Oh?’

‘Yes. I only wish I could give back some of yours, my dear. My mind’s made up.’

‘Oh, wonderful!’ A monsoon of overwhelming relief washed over Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager, drowning a sextillion anxieties. ‘Congratulations Ms. Bumperdoople, I wholeheartedly really do believe that Canopy Condominiums™ is going to be the perfect—’

‘No—; I won’t be signing the lease. I just wanted to come here and tell you so, person-to-person. Manners are not mort among some of us, dear!’

The blood drained from Cyntonia P., B.M.’s face and settled in her stomach. Ms. Bumperdoople bid her a brief adieu, and then, with considerable effort, stuffed herself into the private elevator to the lobby where her convoy awaited.

Cyntonia slumped at her desk. The day was lost—or, was it day, indeed? From the window, Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager could have sworn to herself—yes—there!—light! There, stabbing through the veil cast so thickly above the city: Hope. So simple and unadorned. Carbonated cabeza from standing so quick, she strut to the windowpane64 and pressed her face to the glass64. The rain had quit. Warmth from the peaking sunlight began to shrink each little dot of acid water clung to the window, the weensy dots scrambling to merge with the teensy dots who fell into formation with the tiny dots, all like little soldiers in retreat, and she felt bad for them; so insignificant and forgotten and alone—oh who would help the poor raindrops—who ever would help them? To Cyntonia Patagonia B.M. it appeared as though the only answer were those poor raindrops themselves, but and not those alone—but and the sun which sucks them up—and the clouds which return them to the Earth; this system; and this day; brought her life.

Snatching her coat and rain slick from the rack, C.P., B.M. made a quick trip down the stairwell64 and nearly slipped and ripped her hamstring clean from the bone—catching her balance‘WO—!’ with a white tight grip and righting herself with a blip of nervous laughter. The western door leading outside was thick64, and the cracks between the door and its frame had been sealed with rust crust. She planted her foot and with newfound spirit shoved hard the door, putting her shoulder into the center*THOOM!* while twisting the handle*skkrreeee* with all her might & more.*SHOOM*

 

At once she winced. The sharp sunlight tore at her eyelids, lifting the thin skin flaps up and flooding her vision w/ neon blood vessels and a blinding black. At last she dared open her eyes, and, through spots of cornea sizzling agony, her vision corrected—and there, at the faintly hissing street corner of 7th Avenue & James Street, a man lying face down and motionless on the asphalt came into her focus.

She ran over to him, tearing free the velcro flap from her translucent eye shield; the man’s limbs were warped and worn like petrified wood. The flesh sizzled and popped like bacon under a grease fire. What little clothing remained on his body was stuck to the skin in scorched patches and the skin schleffed off the bone by centimeters, and then by inches. The stench of sour flesh was overwhelming, even penetrating the heavy polymeric material of her rain slick. She crouched to the ground and, though hesitant, touched her fingertips to the man’s body; he twitched!—back she jumped;‘Oh—’ and the man turned to face her; eerrRRUUgghh—; he wheezed; his face was falling; piled onto the pavement like soupy pizza; and he reached his hand up; bone fingers, tendon twisted; and Cyntonia snatched back, and she stepped away; and away; terror lurching up her throat; and then she heard his voice:

‘Do you have a room?’ The muscle fibers squeezed around his smile. ‘Do you have a room, miss?’

And instead of formulating a dignified response to make this memory any more digestible, in stupefied shock, Cyntonia Patagonia, Building Manager at Canopy Condominiums™ simply stood there and said ‘Huh?’

‘A room, miss. Do you have any rooms available?’ Slowly, the man turned his melting body towards the I-5 underpass and pointed. The street sides and parking infrastructure was packed with person on top of person, clothed by layer upon layer of rubber padding, strips of rubber from torn tires and lopped-off traffic cones and vivisected condom quilts; tents all lined neatly and unneatly up and down and side to side in rows to avoid the worst of the acid rain which leaked through the slits in the massive breathing concrete bridge; and those without the luxury of a tent’s shelter simply standing in uneven rows, pressed against one another to stay under the bridge’s cover, a perpetually light amount of shoving going on in the background for positioning. ‘There’s no more room. They’ve turned me out again. And the rain hurts, oh God, it hurts me. Do you have a room, miss? A room! Do you have any rooms available, miss?’

Cyntonia P., B.M. turned sharply away, at once facing the opposite direction and walking on, turning the sight from her thoughts, whistling flilly nonsense from beneath her breath. ‘A room, miss! Please! Do you have a room? Do you have any rooms available?’ she heard after her, even as she reached the crosswalk,‘Please, a room, miss! I need a room! Do you have any rooms available? Please!’ and Cal Anderson Park,‘Miss, please! A room! Do you have any rooms available? Do you have any rooms?’ where a number of citizens had gathered to enjoy the pleasant change of weather before the rain began again█