A romance hidden in the urban shadows of half-seen souls.
I was born in a five dollar room to the sound of jazz and in the smell of rye whiskey. I was the consequence of a twenty dollar romance between a sad, broken woman and a rich, unknown man. The woman named me Santino and the man was long gone by the time I came.
She died in the streets. Bad heroin in her veins, I presumed. I survived, a child growing up in the alleys on the backdoor steps of bars and pawn shops -there with the discards of lives that once were and the dreams that never came to be.
I am three times my age, an old man worn out by cold and neglect. I am a ghost of a soul, a dweller in the shadows and resident of the sewers.
So I drink my muscatel and chew on half-eaten rolls, here on the corner of Third and Lombardy, beneath the gaze of neon dragons.