Friday, September 23, 2011

Year of Pleasures 26

The view from the kitchen sink:
H loves to work in our backyard. It's funny how much a back door can make a difference for back yard enjoyment. In our NoDa house, we never used the backyard. You had to go out the side door and then around the back. Plus once the kids were out there you couldn't really see what they were doing from the front area of the house. Now we have this back door and window so I can see everyone. H and R really seem to love just being outside. I'm looking forward to some cooler fall weather so that we can spend even more time out there.

And how wonderful to look up from such a menial task as dishes and see that scene. It makes my heart leap up in joy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Body Bag

I am not a morning person so in order to make it to my job on time I stay up all night. This is not as difficult as one might imagine. I am allowed to come in when I choose as long as I am done by noon. The public buses start at six so I can be to work at 6:30. I sometimes sleep a little with my sweat shirt wadded up into a pillow. I don't dare lean my head against the glass. Mostly, I stare out the window watching the city slip by me crumbing apartment building after crumbling apartment building. Sometimes I will see a person hurrying to their car but mostly it's deserted. No one on the Earth but the bus driver, a few passengers and me.

This time of morning finds us all quiet.  There is a young black guy who is plugged into his Ipod but he does not move his head or sing. He sits totally still staring down at his legs. In the far back, a woman, who appears homeless, stretches out. Her snores echo against the steel roof. The three of us pretend that the others do not exist. The bus driver is surly and drives too fast over the shitty road, sending us sprawling every time he hits a pot hole.

We come to a stop where we are required to wait. No one ever gets on but each morning we stop. Today there is a flurry of activity surrounding an abandoned building on my side of the bus. Dozens of police cars, their lights whirling without sound, surround a partially boarded up door. I can see the blue of their lights reflect on my hands in the quickening dawn. From the door way, a man ducks down with a stretcher. He is followed by another man who performs the same manuver. On the stretcher is a black body bag. A man with gloves hurries over to unzip the bag. I am glad that I am too far away to see. A white van pulls up and several people disembark with tool boxes in their hands.They scurry under the board. It is all silent.

"Must be that serial killer."

I turn to the voice. It is the young black guy who never talks. He's looking over across the aisle.

"Excuse me?"

"You haven't heard? Some white guy is going around killing hookers. That's a hooker hang out there." He jerks his head toward the building.

He puts his headphones back on as the bus lurches away.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Playing House

They had only just meet. Not the brother and the sister but the rest of them.They were young and soiled. Damaged goods some might say. It begin with a simple car ride that they turned into a week long adventure. Pooling their money together, they rented a hotel suite for a week. The sagging two story structure formed a sad L on top of a hill. The white paint peeled in long layers exposing gray weathered wood. Weeds grew bravely in the patches of dirt outside the office. On the rickety balconies, drunks sat in plastic lawn chairs, paper bags at their side. Women with worn lipstick and sloppy bodies leaned over the railings, breasts almost falling out of tank tops, cigarette ashes falling to the ground.

Here they moved in with a few bags of clothes. They went shopping at the Shop N' Save down the road. They bought Ramen Noodles and potato chips. Cases of soda. They stole cartons of cigarettes and expensive, nice smelling body supplies. The brother's girlfriend lifted a fifth of Kahlua. They spent the evening sitting outside drinking milk and Kahlua and smoking. They ate dinner a card table.

As she lay in bed that night, she though that this playing house was a prediction of her future. A future spent in run down hovels with strange men pretending that she was creating home when what she was really doing was running away.