To the west there is an ocean.
There's a mountain on the right.
Now will you walk away or take the blame
For the unfortunately named Children of This Day.
Children of This Night.
Some mornings tell you all you need to know about a place. If you're in the area come to Bloomfield. I'm having that kind of morning; I could offer up my services as tour guide of this specific sensation. Of course it involves characters not present, not all of them, and an ephemeral moment which for all I know has already passed. But the basic elements are here. We need another word for poverty though.
The song: "This Night", the artist, Destroyer.
And it started. I had to run down to the Shur Save to pick up some ingredients for Miss Ella's food. The butchers, like the sum of the staff at Shur Save are impedimentary in their lack of skill and charm. For the butchers the former is primary. But it's cheap, and with a dog who needs to eat basically the diet of a small, picky child the disfigurations of conventional cuts are permissible: I opted for "Chicken for Soup" at approximately $.55 per pound. Now choosing this cut has its drawbacks. And they begin the moment selection has occurred; the styrofoam tray is invariably brimming with sticky pink chicken water. They say technically its not blood. From a psychological perspective that is instantly reassuring, then troubling. Lingeringly troubling. At the check-out counter I warned the cashier about the liquid. She's going to be touching all Bloomfield's food this morning and the wan pewter cast of her eye suggested the notion of cross-contamination might very well be a foreign one. Thanks for nothing--she eyed me and the meat with the same revolted wan pewter gaze. I would've followed up in my defense but there was also something laconic about her. Like she'd found an insulated space from which to conduct herself. Her shift had just begun and justification for splitting my discontent between the two of us was simply not to be found. With sticky hands I counted out exact change and walked away.
Now here's were it becomes, as Phil Simms might say, a Bloomfield kind of morning.
I took a longer way home, cutting back on Ella St. and through the alley to Taylor, then back to Liberty, so I could hear as much of the long "This Night" as possible before reaching my door. There was just enough residual snow on the ground to be able to say: I walked home in the snow. In a crosswalk I passed a kid I've run into from time to time, one of those squatter punks who has the appearance of having been tarred but not yet feathered. Always working on selling you something you could never use--in his case chain-mail jewelry. Truth be told he was nice and sad, like the right opportunity wouldn't make him any smarter or happier; he'd just stay put and put up with it. Glad not to have to be suspicious of a good thing.
On my first day back Jesse and I went out to grab some coffee. We'd been moving furniture and were pooped from the one-two of manual labor and drugs. Everytime I move I swear it'll be the last time. Anyhow there he was. This tarred punk. He was grousing about a landlord who'd locked him out over a rent dispute and some unpaid damages. He said the guy was a cunt and everything would've, from a legal standpoint, fallen cleanly under the heading of normal wear and tear. But there he was: "My shit's in there, all my clothes. My toothbrush's in there."
It was evident that his toothbrush was in there.
Jesse said the guy was nice enough. He said, "You know, whatever really happened with that apartment, it was his fault."