My roommate says 7-Eleven and Vegas share a similar vibe. It’s open all night. The clientele is filled with a quiet desperation, a certain depravity. It facilitates poor life decisions.
I had to make a bee-double e-double arr-ewe-en at 1 a.m. As I crossed the street, a couple passed the other way. A cop stopped at the light called them over, and, seeing the open Corona the guy was trying to hide behind his leg, got out of his car, all crisp blue uniform and authoritative sobriety. The girl — skin-tight black dress down over the impressive curve of her thighs and not much else — obediently backed off into the parking lot. The guy sat down on the curb, handing his license up into the beam of the flashlight.
I hightailed out of there; I know I’m white, but cops are scary, okay?
The 7-Eleven down the block has two demographics. Half is older, burned-out, ethnic, from the residential side of the street, there to pick up six-packs and menthols. Half is from just across the road, hipsters drunkenly stumbling out of a club called Que Sera for smokes and snacks. I grabbed a PBR tallboy and an Arizona ice tea and fell into line behind two hefty white dudes comparing notes about arm tattoos. Outside, two senile black guys missing teeth elbowed each other and snickered at unfunny jokes about the lost girl in the parking lot, talking on her phone to stranded friends. “She’s really got some sugar on that cookie, huh, oh man.” The girl tugged on her black-and-white striped skirt and looked away.
I left. I prefer to make my poor life decisions in the comfort of my own home.