Sometimes, in the early morning, I walk through the grubby backstreets around Central Square, observing the human debris sprawled across long-suffering benches and huddled in urine-dampened concrete alcoves: the indifferent rubble that remains after social conventions are abandoned; apathetic refugees living in the ruins of themselves, once more preparing to sacrifice their day to some sort of grimy Chthonic sewer deity. But I don't observe for very long. These demolished lives are a too visceral reminder of how fragile and precarious standards of living can be. And besides, the smell is appalling. This must be how fresh air feels when brushing against a sweating, fetid armpit: "Get me me out of here!" It's all rather depressing, to be honest. So quickening my pace, past the empty banks and crowded Starbucks, I walk onwards in the direction of leafy Cambridgeport.
Suddenly, a fellow pedestrian and myself are knocked sideways by a wild-eyed jogger wearing Vibram foot gloves and a CoolMax bodysuit. He leaps out from between two parked cars like Spiderman, slams into us, vaults a trashcan and sprints up the street without apologizing, propelled by the obliviously unstoppable force of his own insatiable arrogance. I silently hope that he might trip over the slumbering vagrants and break his neck when he reaches them, but he is unfortunately far too agile to be toppled by such insignificant obstructions. In fact, I suppose he will merely employ their prostate torsos as a series of springboards for extra velocity when running through the thick wall of atmospheric stink.
Now I'm passing the neo-Byzantine stronghold that is the Church of Constantine and Helena, named after the Roman Emperor who relocated the center of civilisation from West to East - always a bad move - and his sainted mother. There is much inconvenient rubble here, too, mostly around the foundations and spilling out onto the sidewalk, although comprised of cascading masonry rather than flesh and blood, and contained by orange colored plastic netting. "Please pardon our appearance during renovations" an adjacent placard pleads. At least there are some indications of polite society this morning.
As you can see, I am making vain attempts to add illustrations to my blog. I would have taken pictures of the vagrants and the jogger, also, but I was afraid of the vagrants and the jogger was too fast. Consequently there is only this rather innocuous photograph of the Greek church. I'm not really sure what purpose it serves, but at least it's something.