the immobile past

Picture of Night and Day
yesterday | today tomorrow

April 3, 1999

ballard sunset constitutional kultur shock at the croc
First we met a friendly cat or two and then a woman crossing the street with flowers for her neighbor. I'm just dropping these off, she said, but we hightailed it out of there not wanting to commit to a conversation. We chanced upon a ballfield where a man twirled a stick. An alumnus of Two Cranes, he was working on his behind-the-back akido stick passes. He showed us how to make our arms turgid with blood, stronger than muscle and bone alone. I was in line at the bar (that's the way they do it out here instead of the usual free-for-all) to liquidate my free Slivovitz drink ticket. The self-described gipsy ahead of me was cleancut in black leather, there to enjoy a show with his 30-year-old son. "How do you support the nomadic lifestyle?" I asked. "A pyramid scheme!" he replied without a hint of irony. "It's bottled holy water with curative properties. The first month I made $600, last month it was 27,000."