PASSIONS, DUCIE STREET, 5.36AM
This morning there was the musk scent of early Autumn. I breathed in deeply, and the air rasped the inside of my nose, causing my nostrils to flare. A softening mist embroiled the warm, enticing lights that illuminated streets as old as the professions that once lined them.
An open doorway at the side of Passions massage parlour, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, revealed stairs leading up to a first floor that appeared to be decorated like a B&Q room set. Electric blue beamed down onto the grey tarmac, providing a sense of hope, energy and life to an area that had seen better times. Outside there stood a jaded looking young man. He wore a large baseball cap slightly skewiff, and clutched a bottle of mineral water, which he necked whilst phoning for a taxi.
The lush colours shimmered in the wet surface of the roads, and the fresh sky revealed tantalising streaks of creamy light from behind a curtain of thick cloud, promising an exciting 20 minutes for me. I moved quickly up and down the street, enjoying the thrill of the moment. But then, much earlier than I’d thought, the lights popped off, instantly puncturing the mystique. In the ordinary daylight, buildings soon revealed the scars of misuse and abandonment.
A pile of rubbish lay outside the brothel, and PC World in the retail park across the way stood emptied and quiet. I was done, and all I could hear was the clanking of heavy metal being dropped to the floor in one of the last working factories in this area.
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