I'd pick you up
I'd take you into the night
And show you a love
Like you've never seen - ever seen
It's 2 AM on a rainy night in downtown Dallas and I've got no place to go. Not many 24/7 joints around downtown - not ones I'd like to visit anyway. There's a 7/11 where all sorts of wanderers drift in and out. Lots of cops drift in too - must sell donuts there. A McDonalds stays open round the clock but if you come near it as an outsider be prepared to be hit up for some cash. (FYI, walking around with a camera on a tripod signifies you as an outsider). But the reason both of those places stay open is because of their proximity to the bus station.
Despite all the advances in modern technology over the past 80 years, the bus stop is still a focal point in any large city. Trains, planes and automobiles have encroached mighty heavily on its once towering domain but for many it's still a vital mode of long haul transportation. Even at this ungodly hour, cars and trucks pulled up to unload passengers into the pouring night rain. But while the bus stop remains a solid fixture on the American landscape, the romance of it is long gone.
No one actually verbalizes it, of course, but let's face it: socially speaking when traveling by bus you are an undeclared second class citizen, people who live only in the corner of our eye. Where else would you find a smoking area defined by a spiked, high rod iron fence? When foreigners think of America do you think they picture this? The amount of ugliness we hide grows by the day. We are as sick as our secrets.
Across the street a megabank parking garage. It seems as faraway as a foreign country, its users though never giving a second thought to the plight of the nearby bus riders. We've all learned to step over dead bodies with eyes closed, silently praying we don't join their ranks - which guarantees we will.
Deep Ellum is the entertainment district. One street over on Elm, night clubs are still going strong but here on Main all is deserted.
The rain gods had no mercy on this nighttime photographer. We're all homeless boys and girls in this world that gives no quarter. The lawyer in his $2,200 a month loft works 70 hours a week, a willing teeth-gritting slave to his opulent lifestyle. The 7/11 night clerk watches others come and go as they please while he's trapped behind a counter ringing up Twinkies and cigarettes. And we streetlight people live day and night on society's front lines of actuality.
But in the end we are like drops of rain who fall to earth, some to soak the ground and breed life, others only to be washed away into the gutter never to be seen again.
Click on any photo for a larger version. Click here for the entire set.