His girlfriend, we presume, is shivering in her high school sweatshirt, the hoodie pulled all the way up, and looking nervously out at the street. The window of the gas station behind them is full of ads for all the usual stuff: beer, cigarettes, candy bars; there’s a cheap motel across the parking lot, its sign missing several letters. The artist has described his illustration as representing “the many minor discomforts and petty indignities of urban America.”
With all that’s going on, the first time I saw this image it took me awhile to notice the sidewalk between the couple, where there’s something surprising happening. Just about halfway between him and her, coming up out of nowhere, is a bright green plant. Just a shoot, really, only a few inches high, but the rest of the scene is so industrially gritty that once you see this vividly green shoot, which almost seems to be glowing, you wonder what it’s doing there.