Saturday, March 28, 2009

Station on Mellow. Saturday and Slow


So here we are in the middle of another ridiculously beautiful day. I didn't start anything yesterday morning, and by the time I got off last night I just didn't feel like writing.


I've mentioned it before, but one of the nicer things about this area is the selection of good places to grab a bite to eat. Molcasalsa is one of the better ones, and it's just a couple blocks from here. Normally we start the day with oatmeal. I don't mind too much. Today we were out of oatmeal, which is where Molcasalsa comes in. You can get potatoes, ham, eggs, and cheese wrapped up burrito style in a big warm flour tortilla for 99 cents, if you can make it there before 11:00 AM. It's a cholesterol bomb, but every once in a while you just gotta' live dangerously. Walk on the wild side. Roll dice with the devil, and all that devil-may-care kind of daring that goes along with stuffin' your gut.


Anyway-


John was at the corner, along with a couple of other guys I enjoy talking to. And we hadn't sat there long, when Mike came by with his guitar. He's out of the group home, and staying with his folks again, up in the heights. The guy can play. I've heard him go finger picking through some spidery Renaissance melody, and then slide it into some good ass kickin blues. It was good see him back, and good to see that he's keeping it together. It would have been too easy lose half the day hanging out, though, and I had to attend to the small errands of the weekend. Which now have been attended to.

And I put out enough physical effort last night, that I'm not going hiking today. No. Chicken on the barbeque is the height of today's ambition. The last two nights were hard work. The night shift is always split between two schools, four hours to clean half of the first school, and four to clean half of the second. And since the rooms are cleaned only every other day, they're always in bad shape. And last night I had the late half at Stephen King Elementary, on the corner of Scream Road, and Ghoul Street. During the day, it's shady, and seems more like a park than a school. It sits on a dark corner of a quiet neighborhood right at the foot of the west end of the heights. Built in '57, the place has the architecture of a Chevy Bel Aire. Huge ficus trees brood over the classroom buildings. Everything is up hill. In the interest of saving Gaia, all the outdoor lights have been replaced with those evil mercury vapor, and poison gas corkscrew things. Those bulbs are to light what a microwave is to a barbeque. Just. Not. Natural. After dark, you're always in a tunnel of this harsh yellow glare. Outside the tunnel of glare is the void. You cannot see into the void. To boot, the ficus trees grow some sort of marble sized seed fruit, and spend the evening tossing them onto the sheet metal roofs, so there's always some noise, something skittering away just outside your field of vision. And there's a rabbit loose on the grounds, and you never know when the rabbit is going to show up. Always something out there. But it didn't get me. At least not last night.

And for all my complaining I was grateful to make the push through the night. I got all the stuff done, and left it looking pretty decent. And grateful to be able to do it. Last task of the shift is always to do the door check- walk the whole campus; pull all the doors. I came around the corner of one of the wings, and found three high school age kids sitting in the hallway. I think they were just about ready to roll one up, when I came around. I remembered one Friday night forty years ago, when I sat on this same campus with the same intention. "Hi, guys. I'm locking up, you'll have to go party elsewhere." They evaporated into the void. I heard the clinking of the chain link fence and they were gone.


JWM

3 comments:

julie said...

Mmmmm, that breakfast (heh - I originally typed "breakfats" - apropos for a cholesterol bomb, no?) burrito sounds awesome. Sometimes you just have to have one - all things in moderation, including moderation ;)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I got all the stuff done, and left it looking pretty decent. And grateful to be able to do it."

Ain't it amazin'? Gratefullness that is. Thanks for remindin' me, John.

Sometimes I get so...I dunno, cynical. More than is healthy I mean.

So what you just said reminds me (and man, do I need remindin' a lot!) to be grateful for...well, everything.
Walkin', talkin', readin', writin', seein', hearin', and to be able to DO things, whether it's washin' dishes or cookin' a meal or what have you.
'Cause it wasn't long ago I couldn't do the smallest of things.

Very humbling when I think about it. Thankfullness works wonders for whatever ails me. :^)

Julie-
Very profound! :^)

Robin Starfish said...

Yum. We had a breakfast joint just around the corner from us in Santa Barbara, down from the Happy Soul Shine Parlor. Miss it. Nothing like that around here. Memories still taste as good though.