GHOST TOWN, USA May 2009
May 17sign outside Gateway Produce:
PERSONAL WATERMELON 4/$5.00
5/20young ladies outside Harney Elementary: “He wants to be with me, but at the same time, he wants to figure out why. . . . She wants to have sex, party, and be a Mom. . . . Three weeks. She says, ‘I’m done.’ I’m tryin’ to get my daughter back, and she’s done after three weeks?”
At the Blue Park
Angelo comments on the graffiti on the picnic table: “It says, ‘Fuck an 80 year old man.’ That’s rude.” ********* Hot Spring day at the Blue Park: Jake and Angelo negotiate the particulars of an epic battle taking place in a parallel universe no adult can see as a young mother in a dark blue skirt, red top, & white sweater embodies basic goodness as she runs, jumps, watches over, photographs her tiny daughter and redefines beauty hips and ass renegotiating the parameters of their denim casing each time she bends to take the little girl’s hand or squats to take a snapshot I smile each time the pitch of her voice rises as the girl teeters at the edge of disaster the sound reminding me of a time when I guarded my own son’s head as if it were the most delicate porcelain ********* swing chant sky is blue blue is high ********* Football game on the field: “Fuck you. I don’t give a shit.” “I got it.” “They’re comin’.” “They don’t listen to me. It doesn’t work.” “I’m gonna getchoo!” “Touchdown, baby!” “Danny, where’re my pancakes. Where’re my pancakes, Danny? C’mere, Danny. C’mere, Danny. Oh, Danny. Fuck this.”
5/25 Outside Harney
“Men. That’s what I was tellin’ you. They always come back, if they know what’s good for ‘em.”
Sign outside the INTERNATIONAL AIR AND HOSPITALITY ACADEMY:
HAVE YOU EVER TASTED ART?
The People on the Bus
May 1, 2009 #32 to Vancouver Mall
“Almost got raped. Wore short shorts and a tank top.
Wore short shorts and a tank top. I would have got in
so much trouble. . . . I’m afraid of my Dad, ‘cause he’s abusive.”
# 4 Westbound headed downtown
two NY Yankees caps one NY LOVE tee: are all three of them trying to be ironic? “Whenever I hang out with guys, I get in fights.” “That’s probably because they think your girlfriend’s hot.” Slow, chubby blonde w Build-A-Bear Workshop box NY LOVE tattoo tee & jean shorts: “My boyfriend’s gonna be mad when he sees what I bought.
I don’t care. He’s got no money comin’ in, he takes half my money.”
# 32 to Harney Elementary
“I’m planning on a road trip
to California this Summer, to see my Mom again.”
5/6 outside McDonald’s waiting on the # 4
stoic in white hoodie sportin’ gold fronts gotta long day ahead just did 30 days & now they got him running around— must complete 8 applications by 5 today “it’s alright” found 5 just between Grand & Ft. Vancouver Way came here from Micronesia 5 years ago hasn’t done much since fell in with the wrong crowd his homies doing 3 years tell him 30 days is nothing “just think of us,” they say
# 32 to Harney
cute redhead swaps photos with two guys who, like her were recently released: “I was not happy about being in prison. . . . My leg has treads. Who is this really? Is this you?”
5/13 # 32
I see the three of them again the following Wednesday when a douchebag corrections officer in a white van drops them off at the bus stop, speeding away before the doors are even closed 3 sack lunches marked with black Sharpie: WR (work release?) 5-12 “She’d better have something good to say, if she knows what’s good for her. . . . Does she know who I am?”
5/18 waiting for the # 37 Broadway & 13th
crusty old dude in a black cowboy hat black vest, recent Bob Dylan tee leaning on a cane doesn’t want to talk to me speedy old guy with cuts on his face in a cap reading
MERRILL COUNTY SHOOT OUT
limps up and presents an energy drink to the cowboy: “Take a blast of this. Wired. It’s called 'Wired.'
I don’t know what that shit—don’t care.” moments before their bus arrives the cowboy takes a swig: “God-damn.”
5/22 Waiting for the # 4 outside McDonald’s
“I started yesterday. I came to work today, all my shit was packed up.
I just got here from Longview. It’s hard.”