The sidewalk was injected with voltage. There were extreme levels of horrified panic in a very small space. People were in a frenzy in an attempt to alert the driver, and a few most brave jumped into the street and blocked the oncoming truck, all hands raised and bellowing for the driver to stop. They were successful. The truck was halted at the B54 bus stop.
PRETTY VACANT ARTIST’S STATEMENT
Some eyes see a rotten thing of no more use, not worth lending a second of precious modern moment. I understand the subjectivity of ugliness and I understand the subjectivity of inspiration. So be it. I see the living of a second mythology, one that is unstable and mysterious and uncertain. Is there a thing more vigorous than that which is constantly changing? It is that energy from decay that attracts me.
One of the satellite islands was once the seasonal shelter of a winter trapper during the late nineteenth century. All that remains of his lodgings is a stone chimney approximately a story high. It has a large slate mantle inset eight feet from the ground. Perhaps the trapper was a giant and the mantle was where he kept his precious things. It stands intact and functional, for on a trip since, Ryan, our friend Michael, and I listened to The Dead Kennedys and drank and laughed heartily, its hearth once again called into service. All seven of us were kept warm as we attempted to reverse history. We used a sock for kindling. Survival note: it works well in dry conditions.
The Chief’s Son informed us that his father was with “highway” during his formidable career. Following the priest’s exceptional address, as parishioners mimed a cross over their faces, I could hear, so faintly, the creaking of those “highway” tunics. This moment, this lightning flash in time, has had a profound effect on me. I feel tendrils attempting to get a grip even as I recount those few seconds now. It was an audible salute to a fallen comrade. Wolves howl into the chill night air, mourning the loss of one of the pack.
As the ocean was brushing our ankles, I was reconnecting with him. When human loss is intimately discussed among those who mourned, a great chamber is unlocked, its aged bolts and shanks falling into a rusty heap, allowing the mourners to finally pass over a threshold once barred by a powerful discomfort. I suppose most of life’s painful experiences are housed behind heavy oaken doors.