Avenue M

As I dropped to my belly on the concrete, I heard glass crunching under my belt buckle.

The overhead lights were dim and flickering, and I was clinging to the floor in an attempt to appear invisible. Damp seeped through my knees and my right hand was wedged under a pile of old office lighting. My face felt gritty.

“Fuck,” I said. “What is he doing?”

“I’m not sure,” he muttered, sliding under the gigantic tractor to peer out into the parking lot.

I lay frozen on the filthy concrete pad and strained to hear something. He at least was relatively hidden from view by the tractor, but I was completely visible to anyone who might walk, or drive, by, despite my effort to hide behind a pole. Luckily I was wearing dark colors, and might at casual glance look like a heap of debris, assuming I didn’t do something foolish like lift my head.

I tried to inch into the relative shelter of a tractor scoop by dragging myself along the ground. I heard something rip.

“I think he’s parking,” he said. “Behind that building over there, look, you can just see.”

I peered up from behind a jumbled pile of transformers. The East Bay was cloaked in fog and a dim glow spread out invitingly across the Bay. Closer to home, I saw the car skulking in the lot next to us, lights off.

“Maybe he’s taking a nap. I don’t think he saw us. We can keep the tractor between him and us and slip out the back.”

I cautiously stretched to my full height and slid between a pile of empty pallets. We moved in wordless accord like inky shadows, welcoming the gathering darkness as the overhead lights became less widely distributed. Glass crackled under our feet and I decamped through a hole in the fence, holding it open for him.

“Well,” I said. “That was fun.”

We trotted off into the night along Avenue M, trying to look like people doing nothing in particular. In point of fact, that was exactly what we were.