I see the others, hesitant, tentative, making their way slowly through the foul muck. They try to keep their heads up. I stand at the edge and watch their struggle. There is no urgency, but I am drawn. I slip down the side of the wall, slick with mold, feel the decay envelop me like bathwater. Thick, rancid, full of debris. I swim through the detritus, grasping at driftwood, rotten 2x4s, trying to keep my head up. Someone is drowning in the muck, sputtering silently, there is no sound here, and I slip an arm around her and together we wade through to the other side. I leave her and join the others, standing in small groups or alone, covered in filth. It fills the creases of our skin and coats the beards of the men. I kneel in the gutter and heave my guts onto the cracked pavement, cough up thick gouts of the steaming filth, which is weird because I thought I kept my head up.