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Word Count: 667
Uptown One night three years ago I left my middle class suburban home and jumped into my old beat-up Cadillac With no purpose in mind I started driving Determining that I wanted to go walking in uptown Charlotte and deciding to find out what all the hype was about I merged onto the interstate My car smoked and coughed like an emphysema-ridden man who smoked two packs a day Worried that I would not reach my goal I nervously sped until I reached what I considered uptown My limited small-town etiquette did not prescribe what to do in this strange new world the parking meters stumped me There were not many places to park and I was worried the caddy would get towed so I parked in the only vacant lot Ignorant of what kind of people I would find I climbed out of my car and into the night The gravel crunching underfoot slid I picked up my pace and made my way towards boisterous uptown The brightly burning flame of city flickered slightly here towards the back streets and alleys It is always daytime somewhere but in this place the sun never shone Two squatters were couched in the darkness under a fire escape ladder having a hushed discussion One of them a shaggily bearded man clutching a bottle wrapped to its neck in an oily brown bagprobably the reason this man was homelessapproached me The distinctive odor of alcohol that lingered on his breath was manifested when he asked me for a dollar so that he could buy some food MancanIhaveabuck he muttered incoherently As he finished his mumbling a roaming police officer accosted him Not wanting his freedom to be taken away the homeless man sulked off while the cop nodded me an assured self-satisfied grin Saying Please dont feed the animals he also departed I thought To Serve and protect only applies to those who do not live
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