Posted by Floyd Diebel 7 Comments

Walk

Every day I walk one of two routes to work. One route is dirty and has heavy traffic (both pedestrian and automobile.) The other route is also dirty, but is less busy in general, and passes by a truck loading area that I think is interesting. Neither of the routes have many billboards, and that lack of billboards bothers me. A city without billboards appears mute, or dead.

I’m wearing an orange tie I bought in Frankfurt today since I need to impress a potential new client.

Today I take the dirty route with heavy traffic (both pedestrian and automobile.)

I’m wearing an orange tie I bought in Frankfurt today since I need to impress a potential new client. My hair is in its usual disasterous state, and I figure by wearing a disruptively colored tie I may be able to distract from that. Or at least make it seem intentional. It isn’t really, the bad hair. It’s just inattentiveness.

The walk is short, and generally takes me about the length of Aphex Twin’s track “Stone in Focus” from the album “Selected Ambient Works Volume II”, which I enjoy very much. Today though I decide to listen to the dirt on the streets instead of isolating myself in faraway music.

I’m a little over halfway to work, passing a Federal Express,  which isn’t actually Federal at all. I like their classic FedEx logo but I’m not really enthusiastic with how they are branding their copy shops like this one. They used to be called Kinko’s but were sold and re-badged FedEx Office not too long ago.

There’s a bus shelter up ahead, across the intersection. It is owned by the local public transporation agency and they are one of my agency’s clients. I can see there’s a man sitting on the bench not waiting for the bus. He’s filthy and so are his belongings and his beard and probably his intentions and I am staring at him because I know what he is going to ask me for money and/or a cigarette and I want him to know that I am not friendly and that I know what he has done.

This man has taken a shit in the doorway of our office at least once, probably three times.

This man has taken a shit in the doorway of our office at least once, probably three times. The doorway of the building in which I work is about 20 feet from an alley. A city-owned utility truck with “Fight the Funk” written on the front drives through this alley every night and sprays it down with water and disinfectant, making this a perfect alley to shit in. Instead, he shits in my doorway. Fuck him.

Anyhow. Passing the bus shelter (owned by the local public transportation agency) and a bus pulls up and the man who shits does not get on. I am still staring at him and he knows I know he shits and he says nothing, and I keep walking.

7 Comments
  • Man – I know how that feels. We used to have the same thing here – and the urinal effect too – all at our back door. We ended up doing something almost antithetical to our natures – we put up a gate. It helped a lot…

    What I *love* about your post is that sense of gritty-city urban life – so many folks don’t think Sacramento is a *real* city – and I can tell you, having lived in Portland, SF, and Boston, having spent considerable time in London and Paris, Sacramento is definitely a real city – and you’ve just written city life poetry.

    • Which is why people leave cities, or parts of them anyway. Unfortunately, all societies have to keep their uncivilized humans somewhere.

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