Meanwhile, Back In New York Again.

The man was tall and dark and muscular but Angelina had not been afraid of him when he approached her because many tall, dark, muscular men approached her.

Angelina was not afraid of him now, either, because she was unconscious. The man carried her, unhurriedly, through the streets of New York City in the pre-dawn hours, those hours at which the daylight is farthest away. When the sun first sets and the moon comes up -- not that either the sun or the moon were seen much in the alleys and narrow streets and at the bottom of buildings that Angelina frequented -- when the sun first sets and the moon comes up, daylight is gone, but it is easily remembered because it is only recently gone. The essence of light lingers in the air like cologne from a date that has kissed you good night and left.

When day is almost there, when the moon has gone away and the sun is about to rise -- an event only known in Angelina's world by a diffuse lightening of the air around her, since direct sunlight rarely reached her streets and never reached the basement apartment she slept in during the day-- when the moon has gone away and the sun is about to rise, there is an expectancy of daylight that is coming and the mind can reach back to memories of other days to know what is to come.

But at the middle of the night, as it was when the man slung Angelina's body over his shoulder and walked along the sidewalk between buildings which were only 30 or 40 or 50 stories tall, old buildings that were dwarfed by the 500-story rotating skyscrapers and arches and towers and other pinnacles of artistic perfection that made up the parts of New York where Angelina and the man never went, in the middle of the night, daylight is so far away from either end of the spectrum that the mind sees only dark.

Nobody was present to see the man as he walked with Angelina over his shoulder. Nobody was looking out windows that were boarded up in these buildings. Nobody was looking up from stairwells and fire escapes where, if a body was seen, it was sleeping something off. Nobody was walking the streets beside the man; if there were other Angelinas, they stayed out of sight and paid no attention to this Angelina, who drooled in her unconscious state.

Nobody was around to note that the man, several blocks later, walked up to a door and fumbled in his coat pocket for a key. Nobody was able to see the man pull the key out and drop something else out of his pocket. Nobody could later identify what dropped on the ground as a lady's hand, still wearing a ring, bloody at the wrist end from where it had been sawed, roughly, from a lady's arm.

The man picked up the hand, put it back in his pocket, and went inside the door.

Nobody was around to hear the door lock, and Angelina did not hear it because she had not woken.


No comments: