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September Sojourn Shattered

By Rudolfo Carrillo

What happened yesterday was I drove my car over to Fair Plaza to take advantage of the plethora of acquisitive possibilities contained therein. They've got a place on the corner that is stocked to the brim with a wide variety of recordings made by other human beings, mostly for the sake of entertaining others, but sometimes for informational purposes or to elicit emotional responses, too. Somewhere in there is a movie which is about a book that is about a movie, I am sure of it. You gotta give the clerks silver clad tokens to take any of the collection with you though, even if you are just borrowing it, and there are only two types of workers on duty there. One type is middle aged, frantic, but handy with computational devices; the other is comprised of kids with extra-long fingers who are working there when they aren't busy studying the forces of capitalism.

There is another a big room at the other end of the plaza where food is stored and distributed. In between them there used to be a liquor establishment called the Wine Cellar that was dark and mossy inside, usually filled up with neighborhood drunks and carnival workers. The tavern had a decent happy hour buffet with plenty of greasy red hotdogs and preheated, chemically treated nachos available for the above referenced subcultures to indulge in whilst they rooted for their favorite college football team or Nascar champion.

Now that is all gone. Instead there is a dollar store and rent-to-own joint in the bar's place. I don't know which is worse, but I reckon it is more productive to have the poor and downtrodden buying stuff rather than drinking away the afternoon to the accompaniment of roaring motor cars and million dollar collegiate athletic programs.

The food storage and distribution warehouse I told you about is roomy, with shiny concrete floors, cool-blue fluorescent lighting, heaps of vegetables, and a load of fresh-killed meat from faraway places like Grants and Clayton on display in luxuriously cold refrigerators in the back. There is a kiosk stocked with tobacco. The folks behind the cash registers all got pretty red vests to wear and will load up your haul in plastic sacks that last for a million years, but only after you hand over some cottony-green slips of paper or elsewise type in a series of numbers onto a device that is hanging around nearby and is more intelligent than the ships men sent to the moon.

On the way outta there, I saw a red-haired woman pulling her plunder toward the bus stop. She had a red-haired baby fastened to her chest with a bandolier. A red-haired child with dreadlocks and a tie-dyed t-shirt trailed behind, dragging a sack of diapers and a case of Mountain Dew behind him like the whole lot was made of fissionable material. They all began to trot when they noticed the number eleven waiting on the curb and blowing black smoke out of its end, cigar-like, infinitely gritty against the cloudless sky. As we passed them, rolled out onto Lomas Boulevard in a dependable silver automobile that was powered by the liquified remains of dinosaurs and the broad-leafed ferns they once frolicked amidst, a song by the Rolling Stones began pouring itself out of the speakers. It was something called Shattered.

I pushed the clutch down with my crippled left foot, positioned the shifter properly with my broken right hand. As we accelerated away and that whole scene became part of the past, I told my wife that Some Girls was probably the last good album the Glimmer twins ever made.  It was hot outside, for September, anyway, and the streets were mostly empty on that account.  Home was only a couple of miles away.

1 comment:

  1. RonDaBomb11:37 AM

    Enjoyable memory mashup of the present with the long-gone with the newly-elapsed. The flametopped family unit experienced through your eyes and words made me smile like I was there.


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