Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #239


In the wee New Orleans hours, a discussion takes place.

Manhole Cover: “Hey buddy, what happened to you?”

Sidewalk: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Manhole: “How did you get all caved-in like that?”

Sidewalk: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Manhole: “I’m just trying to help. It’s not good to keep things bottled up, or you’re going to end up with stress fractures that just can’t be fixed.”

Sidewalk: “Okay, fine. I wasn’t paying attention, because I was flirting with the sidewalk across the street, and I didn’t realize that a bachelorette party had stopped on top of me until it was too late.”

Manhole: “A bachelorette party? Buddy, you should never let that happen. Those screaming drunk women can be Hell on Earth.”

Sidewalk, sobbing: “I know. I have failed my concrete brethren. I didn’t react fast enough to make them trip over my cracks and fall into the street, where the Cobblestone Union can worry about them. And they… [more sobs]… they started to take group photos.”

Manhole: “Oh my God! So they were jumping up and down and squealing? No wonder you buckled under the pressure, nothing manmade can survive the onslaught of former sorority sisters getting lit on vodka shots and then trying to document the aftermath. What can I do to make this better?”

Sidewalk: “Just hold me.” 


Note: This is Exhibit #15 in Bonnywood’s March Madness. Details found here.


Oh, wait, there’s more, in a way that has nothing to do with our little story. Before posting, I always check Google to see if there is a better version of the image I intend to share. (If you’re unfamiliar with how to search photos on Google, it’s a great bit of functionality. Holler in the comments if you’d like to know more.) With this search, I discovered that someone had used the image for an audio track of a musical composition, with the image mostly static but tinged with an “archival newsreel” feel.

The composition, a modern instrumental, fits quite well with the photo, enhancing the mood captured by the photographer in 1945. And since I clearly have a fetish for manipulating old photos to my own advantage, it’s always fun to see what others might do with the same image. Give it a listen, if you have the time.


8 replies »

    • Yep, I remember the stories you’ve shared about your intriguing endeavors. Suffice it to say that I had some interesting occupations as well back in those days. We just follow life’s bouncing ball and see where it takes us, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nah, I have nothing to add to your streetscape drama- it stands on its own- another one of Brians brains taking a walk on the warped side. Your medications must be very special…
    I can go the way of the Cold Streets vid though. (Nice for a minute, but gets stuck in a loop after that. It needs… something more… a cornet… a zither… a more ruthless music editor…)
    Mike Hapless, cynical private dick, followed the undulating floozy down the seedy street, fedora jammed on his hard pomaded head. Mike rubbed his bristling cheeks, forehead creased in the shadows of his hat, a Chesterfield pressed in his thin lips trailing smoke photogenically behind in the wake of his trenchcoat.
    He kept his red eyes trained on the bump and grind show the dame was putting on before him. The street lamp glowed platinum highlights on her crowning peroxided glory… Suddenly he was blinded by the rhinstones of her shimmering gown, by the light from the silvery moon, her hair, then the high-intensity smile as she swivelled and turned, eyebrow cocked. Stunned, bedazzled by the completely unexpected but radiant welcoming smile beaming his way Mike felt his knees go weak. Flummoxed, taken aback (and having taken in a fifth of Jack Daniels) Mike tripped over a loose man-hole cover and fell, face first, onto the crazed concrete kerbstone.
    After a long second Mike looked up woozily, his cracked smile fading as he realised the frail was gone, gone like a cool breeze. A lingering trace of Evening In Paris the only hint the intoxicating vision had even lit up his rotten buck an hour (plus expenses) night at all. Damn his trick knee! (a shrapnel souvenir from Salerno in ’43.), Damn these cheap gumshoes too! Mike had hoped to kiss more than the pavement tonight. He sighed melodramatically, stood up, put his hat on, dusted himself off. Just then a sap cracked him hard above the ear. The brightly lit street went black again.
    (Sorry, film noir and Mickey Spillane got the better of me. Gotta rein in the comments. Guess I need a more ruthless editor too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uh, no, we don’t need no stinkin’ editor with this contribution. It’s quite satisfying as it is. In fact, I’ve already scraped your comment and added it to this file in the archives. The next time I share this one (and you know I will, eventually) I’m using your story. We just had an impromptu collaboration, whether you realize it or not… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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