Woodlawn, fire, and rats

A night in Woodlawn, New York:

Early spring. Not warm yet, but no longer cold. The right kind of weather for just the right kind of sweater. 

A little fire in a makeshift fireplace, handbuilt on the spot: a brick-bottomed square. To one side of the shoebox lawn: an old boxy car with the roof done in, aged vinyl seats cracking open, and vines creeping out. 

To the other side: the backlot of a company with a lot of vans lined up on uneven ground. Our little fire danced reflections off their white flanks, indistinct in night-shadow.

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With the onset of darkness came shufflings, scuffings, and scurryings in the van lot. You could tell by the heft of the sound that these rats were large ones. When they bumped the wire fence, the whole panel rattled. Later on, they would be climbing it: fat rodent body shadows against a backdrop of city.

Over the fire: a roasting chicken, propped up with a full just-opened can of beer inside. We ate with our fingers, and drank Magic Hat Circus Boy.