Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mill Avenue Nights: Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

I had the wonderful fortune today of stopping off at Mill after work. With the yellow-bright Arizonan sun shining down from our famously clear turquoise skies I wandered the Ave looking for familiar faces.

As fortune had it, I found them relatively quickly lounging around in the shade of the Coffee Plantation’s blue-green customer corrals—I call them this because they are greenish, metal fences that surround the outer patio of Coffee Plantation that seem to have been placed there merely to keep their customers from escaping.

My heavy laptop bag slung over my shoulder, book on the Anasazi Indians under one arm, a familiar voice called out to me from behind as I passed by—Antoinette’s beaming grin greeted me from where she sat across from Scum. Her enfant daughter, Emma, sat on her lap; beautiful eyes sparkled as they gaped and goggled at the spectacle of the world.

Having found some of my kindred on the Ave, I made rein, stopped, and rested the weight from my bones and soul in their presence. Between Emma’s antics and our soft banter we painted a cascading and hopeful vision of the life the Ave has had in the past year that I have been away in Michigan. The city streets still filled with the dusty inhabitants, foul smelling cars, and the casual presence of the indigenous Mill rat population and all the drama that follows them.

Antoinette tells me that she’d like to bring the Mill Rocky Horror back to life once again. In the early days it was held at the Valley Art theater, not too far away from the face of Coffee Plantation, but it had quickly been ousted when the theater decided to renovate; and then wasn’t permitted to return due to some sort of political disagreement between Harkins and the cast. Rocky Horror is probably too subversive and local color for those staid aristocrats.

We laid a brief visit to the gazebo and the magical hidden alcove where Graffiti Shop is accessible from. The wooden structure of the gazebo gives a nice vision of the red brick courtyard, claustrophobic in its small proportions, with shops lining the inside—mostly closed at six in the evening—and the green vines crawling the brickwork, drinking from babbling fountains and pools inset into the various edifices.

I only spent a moment to glance down into Graffiti as we walked on; the stairs down into the shoppe have always been a bane to me and my weakened legs. I will be giving Lawrence a meet and greet soon enough to let him know that I am once again keeping the company of our fair city warm again.

We stopped off at Trials, just a little ways out from Mill along 5th street, and Antoinette bought some interesting smelling incense. She has mentioned to me that she has pretty much run out of slaves, and that perhaps the next person who might offer her a light for one of her incense sticks could be offered the job—anyone interested? Come out to Mill, I’ll point her out. Be fair warned, though, while Antoinette is an absolute treasure of a person, she isn’t the type to be toyed with and pretenders will not be tolerated. So: only if you mean it.

We finished the night off sitting around at Coffee Plantation again, within the confines of the corral, which did a bad job of confining Emma (she quickly discovered how to operate the gate,) but much fine was still had by all. I handed out the booklet form of Mill Avenue Vexations—signed the one for Scum—and even Osiris made a brief debut before I was scooped up and spirited away.

Until next time.

No comments: