The Streets of the City

By Leah Raymond (’22)

There is a certain cunning charm to meeting Lucifer on the streets of the city.  He is very eye-catching and draws your attention in a way in which on which you cannot place your finger.  He might be smoking a cigarette, or he may suddenly do something quite out of the ordinary, like kick a crosswalk button before regaining complete composure and standing calmly at the sidewalk crossing.  Looking over at you with an intense gaze that seems to peer right into your soul, all he will have to say is “hello.”

Even though you will be caught off guard and quickly walk away, if you get a look at him even just briefly, Lucifer will stay in your head – he remains there, impossible to shake.  He will permeate your thoughts unceasingly, as you try to make sense of the interaction that you just had.  You will sense that you are being followed, but if you turn around, you will not see him there.  It almost seems that when you think about him hardest, he is finally there, calmly walking down the sidewalk towards you.  Cigarette in hand, though he will never take a drag from it, he will strike you with his intent stare and say “fancy seeing you again,” with nothing but evenness in his voice.  Lucifer’s tone never falters.  If you thought that you were thinking hard about him before, you will think about him even harder.  You will turn around to get another look at him, but he will have disappeared.

It may start to rain, even just lightly, and Lucifer will still take up many of your thoughts.  You will find yourself keeping a lookout for a clean-cut man in an olive jacket, cream button-up shirt, and grey pants on the streets, almost hoping to see him again, daring him to show himself.  You will feel the tug of his dangerous game.  But he will keep his distance then and remain unseen.

You may wonder if it is your imagination running wild, but you will begin to recall the number of damned remarks that you made earlier in the day, like how you parked your car in the lower level of the parking garage and laughed as you called it “hell.”  When you go back to your car, you will almost expect to find Lucifer lurking in the corner of “hell,” and he may be, or he may not be.  As you exit the parking garage into a short alleyway, Lucifer will still be on your mind, and you may think to yourself that this spot would be a perfect place for him, amidst the rotting watermelon that reminds you of a murder scene.  You will think to yourself, “what if Lucifer was here,” and then your stomach will tighten as you look up and wonder if it is just your imagination seeing him standing at the entrance of the alleyway.  He will turn his intense gaze from the wall to you as your breath catches and your steps falter slightly, and say, “we meet again.”

Having no other choice, you will smile and agree, as you ponder why it was that he was staring so intently at the brick, and then you will realize that his gaze was fixed on you and your car through the wall.  Lucifer knew you were there, and he was waiting for you.  With the same unfaltering tone and intense gaze, all he will ask is “has it rained on you at all today?”  You will say that it has, just a bit, and bid him a good day.  This time, after you walk a little way down the sidewalk and turn around to look at him once more, he is still there staring through the wall, but when you go back later, he is no longer there.

Lucifer is quite a captivating gentleman.  His piercing gaze seems to stare right into your soul, his even tone is somewhere between kind and unfeeling, genial and disinterested.  His face shows no emotion, though his features are handsome.  He is alluring but makes you uneasy.  He does not mind being in the city, a place of greed and indulgence, because many people there play his dangerous game.  If you are there to spend carefree time downtown rather than engage in the sin of the city, you will draw Lucifer’s attention and his desire for you to give in to the temptation.  You can only hope that you are being kept safe, under the watchful gaze of Someone Up Above.

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