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May 16, 2005

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is this seat empty?

Working for the RE Store takes me to some
pretty, unusual, and pretty unusual places.
One of the least likely is Beaux Arts Village.
I went there alone in Whitey the box truck,
which I could barely back down the driveway
of this lush lot with humble mossy cottage.
I broke a branch off a tree. Sorry! Oh well,
the owner said, it's coming down anyway.
I was there for a clawfoot tub on the lawn,
slimy and green with collected rainwater.
Unlike most days, I was by myself. I tipped the
tub onto a dolly with a rope strung through it.
I heaved and hauled, slipping in the mud as I
did, wondering what I'd done to deserve this.
Well, I made it. Went in for some trim, a loft
ladder, and a stinky sink--la vie Boheme. From
under the house I dragged a white cabinet that
only slightly smelled of rat piss. This whole
neighborhood started out in 1908 as an artist
colony and still seems like a quaint place to live.

is this seat empty?

Later, back in Seattle, work finished, I picked up
a 6 and hoped to find Matt at home in the place
from which he and Gwen would soon be evicted
to make way for a Uhaul rental lot expansion.

He wasn't home, but I'm glad I took this picture.
It records the subtle ugliness which otherwise
would be forgotten. The power meter
and flaking lead paint, the porch wood
warped allowed to grow old. I rode
on to Sarah's studio where I could sit
with her as she painted and I sought
wisdom in the bottom of a bottle.