Today there was a sick girl rushing out the door who needed help running errands that she had no time or energy to do alone.

Today the man who lives in the house at the corner of the alley and the street was looking up for a long time at the red expanse of the wall of his home, as if there were something there to be seen.

Today a two-block section of the street was closed because of repaving.

Today a new money-changing office on the block added an electronic sign that flashes out the exchange rates.

Today there was a man who sat in front of the convenience store with his sunglasses on as he mean-mugged the passers-by.

Today there was a woman who left cheap gum on the small ledge between the car window and the car door beneath it.

Today the cable company’s entire system for receiving payments crashed all over the city, forcing the women who work there to document everything on carbon copy receipts.

Today there was a man arguing with the man making him his ceviche, something about the number of them or the price.

Today there was a woman who walked up behind the argumentative man, as if spying on him, like she wanted to intercede.

Today there was a dog with fleas insistently scratching on the screen door trying to get an invitation to enter.

Today there was a man in the street yelling, “Rudo.”

Today a repairman came to the three-story house next door where the strange white men live and called out, “Buenas tardes,” many a time as he knocked his screwdriver repetitively against the wooden gate.

Today there was a low-hum of a kind of drill in the distance, like a dentist drill but so much bigger and louder, filling the whole neighborhood with its squeal.

In general, nothing happens in contemporary life. If there is news, it appears in a virtual way on television or on the Internet. This news is assimilated quickly and immediately loses its newness. There is almost no possibility for surprise, since surprise has always already fallen back into the just-passed past.