Water trickled down the street. A pungent smell came from it. Sewers had been backing up throughout the neighborhood. Every gurgle of the pipes bore menace. To listen to them at night he had begun to think of the things he been and the things he was, the way we were and the way we wanted to be. Pipes formed a secret world in the walls and under the streets, a world now in revolt with us.
Armored vehicles had shut off his street. The rattling speakers on the vehicles told him to quit moving, told him to turn around, told him there were snipers in the building up ahead, and told him to turn around now for his own safety. He walked between them. Nothing happened and he kept going, smoke was pouring out of the building next to his, the loudspeakers continue to shout and then started to play nursery rhyme music. A tank prowled by, splashing through an intersection awash with sewer water. Its treads glistened where the afternoon sun hit the water that dappled the treads.