The only sounds were those made by passing cars: the gentle hush of the hybrids, the hissing growls of the buses, the thunderous syncopation of braking trucks.
There was a breeze but the air was warm enough to keep dispositions unpleasant. Heat could still be felt radiating from the asphalt, though the sun had gone down long before. Fifty feet away a woman of indeterminable age smoked a cigarette and stood as though she were waiting on her life to come and pick her up. Judging by the look on her face, it was running late.
The breeze inflated a plastic grocery bag and stirred it into spastic motion that wouldn’t have been noticed at times when the sun was up and traffic was heavier and kids could be seen climbing into large family vehicles and heard laughing as they anticipated the ride to come.
This was not that time, though, and the smoking woman knew it as she rubbed the butt of her cigarette into the asphalt but did not check her watch or her phone or ask me what time it was.
This was a place where bad stories began.