Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mill Avenue Nights – Saturday November 1st 2008

Tonight the crowds were spare. Only the staunch outers came to ply their time on the streets. Pretty much every venue from sidewalk to preachers to the drum circle. Some bare few people have come out to our Ave tonight.

Perhaps everyone tuckered out from the bulging crowds of Halloween. Perhaps the Ave just needed a rest.

I met a few new street rats who just got into town a few days ago. As other more veteran players along our streets have noted before: “Every time we come out here, there’s new faces.” A great deal of the street rats are migrant in nature, they move around, by train, hitchhiking, or just buses from here and there. This increases somewhat in winter as those from the northern states make their way around California.

The gallow’s pall on the unfinished condominiums and the now-dead movie theater that gateways Mill is even more telling when there’s few people. There’s so few things to distract the eyes from glancing up at that dark shadow, with the red lights blinking atop.

The drum circle ended far early when the police arrived and arrested a young woman and a young man for drinking alcohol. The young woman apparently took a sip of the alcohol from his cup, didn’t know it was until she did, but she put up resistance to the police officers and thus they decided to take her in for whatever disrespect she showed. Tonight, police were out in strange force—packs of them, five to six together, would prowl around individuals in ones and twos as they arrested them at the sides of the street.

I watched one vehicle being searched by an officer near the Post Office while taking notes while the occupants were held on the side of the road. The car strangely off-kilter, open and in the way of traffic as they searched it, sticking out of the right-hand turn lane.

With very little to do, and none to interview, I took a long circuitous constitutional with my friends around the loop of the Mill Ave from one side to the other in order to get the lay of the land. Even walked past the adobe walls of La Casa Vieja as I often do. The newly repaired sign is unfailingly visible. The old one took storm damage in the violent monsoon that struck two months ago.

Drawing to the end of the night, only one member who visits the drum circle with any regularity remained—aside from Remy, who drunkenly staggered about with us in his jocular spirits. She parked out in front of the Post Office as is traditional for the Drum Circle in Exile. But, only one exile tonight.

Copies of Spoofing the Ave—which are humor shorts for Mill Avenue Vexations—got handed out. One went to Lawrence at Graffiti Shop, who made his adoration of the new story well known. Hopefully further copies will garner equal approval. There are still many to come.

Not much else to tell about the night.

Perhaps things will pick up somewhat next weekend.

Until then.

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