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Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ghost Town, USA/ The People on the Bus June/July 2009

GHOST TOWN, USA June 2009
June 1
as if to announce the desperately anticipated summer heat several pairs of teenagers— one boy, one girl— emerge from behind bushes, fences, and rock walls on Evergreen Blvd. the gleam of sweat on their nubile skin beading up like the smile of a long-lost friend or the blush of first love naked in spite of itself
6/2
Jake and Angelo play video games: Jake: “What? That’s the Massive Entity?” Angelo: “Don’t judge him by his size.”
6/9
Goldie is walking her way to health: wakes early, slips on shorts and a long-sleeve t-shirt clicks on her music and heads out Goldie could be in better shape but she’s not fat: she’s top heavy out of proportion giant breasts thick torso stick-thin legs tries to time her walk down 13th so that every morning she makes it to E. Reserve at exactly the same moment that the men are leaping from the garbage truck to land at her feet Goldie surveys Vancouver from behind big, dark sunglasses: through those shades she sees all…. Clark College men’s room graffiti: don’t let me stop you from doing what you want to do
6/10
Leah Jackson lovely art maven of Main Street arrives at the gallery on a beaming yellow Schwinn equipped with basket and bookholder pushes it toward me, smiling: “I want my bard to have a bicycle.”
Walking home from Harney Elementary, just outside the Igloo
“Ice cream, NIGGUH!”
6/12
Even the low riders in the ‘Couve are lame: moments into my inaugural bike ride a black low-rider pickup scrapes its way down Main Street draggin’ its low-rent ass on the asphalt: truly embarrassing
The People on the Bus
# 37 Eastbound June 17, 2009
“When I got pregnant, my friend said he was never gonna allow himself to get himself into that situation, so I’m gonna laugh at him. My old friends from high school, one of ‘em’s a transvestite, another of ‘em is in Montana with her new girlfriend, ignoring her husband and their two kids.”
37 Westbound 8:42 am 6/30
Dorothy Mary Collier of Ireland, who has been in the US since she was four has a captive audience in a gentleman on his way to Worksource to find a job: “I just bought an electric globe, you know, a globe that runs on electricity, and I think I saw Sri Lanka on the globe.”
The People on the Bus July 2009
# 4 Westbound July 6
“He’s got one with me, one with Paulie, and two with this white girl.”
GHOST TOWN, USA July 2009
7/6
Man to woman As they cross Fort Vancouver Way heading toward Clark College: “All they do is gossip in that place, they’re a bunch of losers. You’re a smart woman, you should be able to let that go.”
The People on the Bus
7/7
As I get on the 32 headed West the driver is discussing his military service with a passenger in the front seat whose long legs jut out in front of the stairs. The passenger is an older African American wearing a black leather baseball cap, a black and grey winter coat black pants, black suede shoes sitting next to a backpack with a Minnie Mouse key chain. Driver: “Korea.” Passenger: “Yeah.”
“I was drafted as well, but I kind of knew I couldn’t get out of it, not like Vietnam. Couldn’t go to Canada.” The passenger begins talking about Charlie, 35 years old, whom he has raised since the age of two. “Charlie’s a good, sweet kid, and I don’t mind takin’ him to dinner.”
“When I met him I perceived him to have a good heart.”
“He’s a happy-go-lucky kid. Smart.”
“How many do you have?”
“Four. All boys. Yeah, they get along with their mother alright, but they give me trouble. . . . Took all my guns. All my watches.”
“Substance abuse?”
“Didn’t wanna work. My oldest granddaughter, she’s a good kid. She’s an A student. She’s totally different from her Dad. He acted like she didn’t exist. . . . You can’t dabble with the devil. My mother had a problem with alcohol. I had other problems. I didn’t need that.” He explains to the bus driver that he himself never smoked or drank. Soon thereafter, he changes the subject. “I got up this morning tryin’ to get the news. The entire news been capitalized by Michael Jackson’s passing. Sometimes they can get shady. They shady all the time.”
# 4 Fourth Plain Eastbound 7/7
“She’s a Goodwill collector. She has a place out in Ridgefield. She has five couches in the house. And she borrows stuff. . . . She works at Safeway, but it’s not enough. It started out she was gonna pay half the rent, but I got a $300 check, one time. There’s always something she needs to do, like take her three kids to the beach. . . . I’m 76. I’m still here. I’m in a 10x12 bedroom in the house. I’ve got three dogs. She’s got three cats, and they climb up on my face like this. My son lives in the basement. Doesn’t work. I’m setting up a 9x13 tent with netting in the back.”
outside McDonald’s waiting for the # 4 Westbound
“We’re goin’ up here. You ain’t getting’ me locked up on a court order. I got strict orders!”
waiting for the # 30 Broadway and 13th 7/9
“I got half a foot, man. . . . Should be here any minute.”
GHOST TOWN, USA
7/12
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD GOD DOES NOT TAKE THE SUMMER OFF
The People on the Bus
# 25 downtown 7/15
“This bitch was just sittin’ here on the bus just starin’ at me and I said, ‘Do I know you? Bitch, look the other way. Do you know me?’”
GHOST TOWN, USA
7/21
Ego Confession (directed by Lucio Fulci) overcome by a mass of contradictions which swarm over the brain like feasting maggots enveloped in a living sea no escape no redemption no way to undo what has been done erase your transgressions and start fresh no way to see past the larva swimming in your eyes
The People on the Bus
# 32 Eastbound 7/22
“Guys on the bus are always askin’ my name, and I just give them a fake name and a fake number.”
GHOST TOWN, USA
Foster Hall Lounge Clark College July 29, 2009
Student on cell phone: “No, I’ve been to, like, so many places. Oh, you’re getting ready to go back on shift or something. I’m just doing work study and school. I know. True. ‘Cause you have no idea how many applications I’ve put in. What? Yeah. Depending on where you go, depending on how you dress. Do you know how many trade schools there are in Portland? No, trade schools. OK, thank you. I don’t know. I know what it is, it’s like where they teach you. You learn by actually doing it. I just know. Why? Why? It’s a nice job, though. Yes it is. I know. I know. I know. What? Wha’d you say? What are you doing? You’re weird.”
7/31
A gentleman in his 60s and a guy in his 30s discuss their disdain for the media over lunch at Christine’s: “For me, that’s what I do. Unless I was locked in a 6x6 cell, with nothing else to do. . . . That’s why the newspapers are goin’ out of business, ‘cause we don’t need ‘em anymore, for information.”
Amtrak Station Vancouver, WA 7/31
Businessman brown pants striped tie shades talks on his cell phone as he waits for the 3:05 Cascades: “I don’t think I could have a more eventful week. So it’ll be bad, but . . . back in the saddle. I’m tired. I might just stay home, and not do anything. . . . They traded. . . . Telephone feature. . . .”
FADE OUT DISSOLVE NORTHWARD
Christopher Luna
Vancouver, WA

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