Apparition in Seattle

So here I am driving to get on the I-5 when I see this.

The fog was beginning to burn off and reveal the sun streaked sky. A voice in my head rang like a hymn, saying, why work today? Stop and go. Stop and go.

A little closer this time.

A little closer now. A little closer now.

Thug Raid at 4 a.m.

The raid happened swiftly. Under the cover of night where the moans and groans would be a little softer and the insolence suppressed by the tremor of wakefulness. RV’s lined the street sandwiched between an industrial park and rail yard. The police ushered all the campers out of their RV’s, took their names, or whatever form of identification they could get, and politely told the squatters they’d need to find somewhere else to go. A young loner gets escorted while he wails about his plight. The cops turn up some opioids from his den. If they couldn’t move their vehicles the city would have them impounded. By then the grumblings and the protestations of the campers were drowned out by the big rigs hauling in the bollards, tow trucks arriving, and the crew setting up floodlights.

By early morning city sponsored trash bags filled with things, which were already once discarded, then picked up with a hope for some future purpose, fill the empty space behind the concrete bollards. A tent had popped up sometime in the hours between and a social worker would be onsite by mid afternoon. Amidst the emptiness in the air is the sense that perhaps all of this amounts to only the amassing of things. Regardless of social status, the only thing we can all be said to be doing is collecting for some greater future.     

Homeless / Seagulls

At the freeway on ramp

The seagulls stand fifty yards

In front of the homeless,

Both beg for scraps,

The homeless man stands

Without a sign, palms up,

Missing shoe, maybe a smile,

Stands under a sign

That says Thank you _________?

For trashing Seattle.

I cannot look either, the homeless man, or the bird, in the eye.

Dear Seattle

Hey listen I know I chose to have kids and join the ranks of parents that, let’s face it, we are all still trying to rebel against, the parents we’re still pretending that we won’t become.

But could you go ahead a do me a favor? Could you at least not act like every time I see you in the city it’s my big trip in from the suburbs. My big trip, like I’m some kind of grade schooler with my sack lunch or some shit.

Listen Next time we run into eachother keep in mind: I have kids; they smell and act like vagrants, they try to eat all my stuff like the worst roommate, and they spit when they prattle incoherently like the neighborhood convenience store attendant. So really it’s not too far off from big city living.