Wandering the Ave I had time to spend with Squirrel. She’s a tall, round-faced girl, with thick glasses and a thicker expression. Today she came sporting a heavily draped t-shirt and a baseball cap which cast a half-shade across her face as we walked through the shifting streetlights. Her motions are slightly contorted, as if stilted by strings, in an almost Huntington’s muscular jerk.
She talked about her visitation down in Tempe to see one of her children and the new light rail system. Which I got to see first hand while spending time waiting for it to arrive; listening to the airplanes screech through the night air and the clack-clack-clack of the trolley along the tracks.
Corky and Cindy came by and stopped to talk to us while we sat on the bus stop bench (not waiting for the bus, but eating.) They paused to talk to us when Jim Coleman came over—we didn’t have much time to speak with them, however, as Squirrel needed to rush along as not to miss the light rail.
Together we walked through the light crowds of the Ave, bantering about nothing except our own lively experiences in the city. The street hushed around us as we moved like casual cats, slinking past barely aware crowds. The light rail tracks have glowing buttons embedded into them, glowing red. Above are guide wires that I suspect carry electrical currents like for the streetcars in San Francisco. I have seen sparks shatter from them like falling pixies.
While dawdling on Mill Ave after Squirrel took her leave via the rail; I met a pair of nomadic streetrats, carrying their heavy packs and bedrolls. Scruffy with days of travel, but grinning and brimming with knowledge, Sarah and Aaron jested with me about my cane—“That’s a kur-beater!” bellowed Aaron, casting his gaze from beneath a floppy brown hat. “I hope that you have beaten some kurs with it. Say that you will beat some kurs with that kur-beater.”
Sadly, no kurs revealed themselves for the beating.1
At the drum circle I found Envy and Cole, as well as a visitation from tall-as-a-weed Jimmy. They had quite a lively setup tonight, with several drums, and two children running around our midst. I even gave away a book to one of them; and showed off my top hat.
A number of people came out as well, interested in talking to Omar Call about his article in the New Times.