Downtown Denver is a sleepy spectacle before 9 am. The energy of people in transit pulses through the growing city but not much is happening. Crack dealers on the steps of the capital make their first sales before 8 am. Cops attempt to clear overnight vagrant camps from the storefronts. Feans and suits alike walk drearily towards their destinations for the day. A confined cubicle under fluorescent lighting which becomes a beloved cell, one which protects the ego while the soul rots away. Or they wander to the parks and corners where the business of the street is allowed to flourish in plain view as long as nobody acknowledges it. Seeking the shade of a tree to nod off under when the heat of the day arrives, feeding the soul while rotting in the flesh. The sun remains hidden behind a thin layer of clouds and wildfire smoke, but the heat of the day can be felt rising from the street as if Denver were sitting on top of a boiling pot filled with wealth and depravity. At the cross-streets on 16th street mall, a barefoot man holding his pants up in one hand for lack of a belt, looking as though he spent the night sleeping under a dumpster stands next to a man wearing designer jeans, and 300 dollar sunglasses. Together they begin this morning in Denver. This stark contrast isn't uncommon, it's part of a typical Denver morning in a city where individuality and freedom are top of the moral hierarchy.