São Paulo Midnight Metropolis
Your eyes snap open. "My bag. Where's my bag?" The hour glows red on the nightstand: 11:16. You jump out of bed and turn on the light. "Where is it?" Not in the closet. Not under the bed. Not in the bathroom, either.
You sit on the floor, the blood pounding in your ear. "Think." Everything is in that bag – your cash, ID, credit cards. Everything. "It must be at the restaurant." You throw on some clothes, pocket the bills and loose change on the nightstand, and leave.
A light rain is falling when you hit the streets. Buses roar up Avenida Ipiranga. You keep your head down, trying to look dangerous, and hurry past Praça da República. Edifício Itália, São Paulo's tallest building, stands on the opposite corner. You had dinner on the top floor earlier this evening.
At the stoplight you watch as an enormous man in a silver suit leaves the building and opens the rear door of an illegally parked car. The bag he throws onto the back seat looks exactly like yours. There is a taxi across the avenue. The restaurant closes at midnight. It's 11:38.
From São Paulo Midnight Metropolis, SPEAK UP Anniversary Issue, Year XIX, Number 227, April 2006, page 29.
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