Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last Train To Vacaville

So Space 10 shows up at my front door Friday night at 8:50 p.m. It's not so much that it was a Friday night, although I was half dressed, half dozing on the couch, and half interested in a Showtime movie...It was more the fact that the "real" park manager was out of town. This happens in critical moments: A party in a carport with an open-fire pit blazing out of control, a man yelling at his “Live-in”, a stereo blasting from the jacked-up Oldsmobile that has been unregistered since ‘05, a drunk in pajamas and a robe at my door on a Friday night. It always happens when the authentic, extremely qualified manager is out-of-town and I am here.
So I open the door to a whiff of slurred words and Jack Daniels and already I am irritated. "Hey Raul. What's up?" Seems he is calling the sheriff on Elijah but can't remember Elijah’s space # to tell the cops. Seems he is reporting Elijah for slipping "something" into his drink while on a bus trip to Sacramento to see his cousin, a local attorney, get sworn in as a recently elected State Assemblyman...Seems half way to Sacramento (I find out later), Raul was so inebriated on the excursion, that the bus driver pulled the chartered vehicle over in Vacaville and kicked him off the bus! Raul, who is a substitute teacher in a neighboring community… Raul, who called the sheriff last year because his next-door neighbor called his daughter “una lesbiana.” Raul, who dresses his Chihuahuas in matching tutus on Halloween. Raul, who makes my blood boil. Raul, who is a Viet Nam vet.
Tonight, I walked my dog for the very first time through the streets of our holy community. I waited until it was completely and undeniably dark, put on my hooded black sweatshirt in order to maintain an incognito appearance, grabbed a disposable poop bag, and headed out. I walked the roads where I have resided for nearly 6 years and took notice of the humble ornaments, lights and various chachkies that remind me it’s December. I looked up into the Eastern sky in an attempt to make sense of what it all means. Marilyn’s lights are out and I wondered if she had any visitors this week. Courtney’s cat waits patiently on the railing, but no one has been there in days, pick-up trucks line the drive-way of #22 but they never stay long. Through the partially opened blinds, Mr. Morgan sits alone in front of his TV, Alicia has a tiny artificial xmas tree in her window; her kids' toys are left in the street...
On this nighttime walk with my dog, I am forced to think about all that is... but also, all that isn’t.
Buenos noches amigos!

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