July 16, 2009
posted & written by Caroline Picard
- I passed a man on the street this morning, an older Polish fellow he wore dirty clothes: a frayed visor, a faded blue t-shirt with paint spots on it, muddy white pants that stopped at his ankles (he was rather squat) revealing a pair of very dirty socks that fed into a beat up pair of running shoes. He stood at the edge of Milwaukee Avenue just before the six corners, in front of the Flat Iron Building and kissed at the cars that passed. The kissing sounds only stopped when he took a breath, they were flat and never changing in inflection. I watched him kiss at the cars for over fifteen minutes before I continued walking on my way.
- When I got on the bus at Damen and Montrose I got on the bus with another gentleman. He had sleek black hair that fell in a shimmering sheet to his waist. He carried a stack of metal CD’s, having evidently just exited “METAL HAVEN” a store on Montrose. He got on the bus. He sat down on the bus. In the back. He put his CD’s next to him very neatly. He pulled a tube of cream out of his pocket and rolled up the sleeve of his shirt. On his arm, about five inches in diameter, there was a fresh satanic star tattoo. Carefully the man-Godiva applied the cream, tracing the lines of the tattoo and smoothing in the lotion. Another man on the bus nodded from another seat, “That’s a nice tattoo,” the man said, “Real nice.” The metal head blushed with pride and stared at the ground whispering thanks.
- A woman moved from New York to Baltimore. Without learning about the neighborhoods in Baltimore she bought a corner store. Because it was fully stocked. Which is to say there was Stauffer’s Stove Top Stuffing and Ramen noodles and macaroni & cheese, liquor in small plastic airplane bottles, candy, potato chips, pork rinds, cooking oil, white bread, ice cream, ice etc. She bought this place because it was cheap and because she would never have to pay for groceries, at least for the next year. As it happened, the corner store was situated in the worst neighborhood in Baltimore. Which is to say it boasted the highest murder rate. She nevertheless persevered and ate the store’s wares and didn’t go out at night.