Sunday, August 19, 2007


Baltimore. Walking in the rain with my phone's radio nearly distorting with classical music playing underneath my umbrella. I like umbrellas - probably for the same reasons I like tree canopies and tents - it's a little hideout.

The city is almost totally absent of people, despite it being Sunday afternoon at 1PM. There's a couple of guys below an overhang smoking at the rehab center, a couple more of the earnest at "god's peculiar people" church smoking in the rain, and a woman looking bored with cell phone in hand watching me walk by with her door partially open. She has a cat on the stoop, but I think it's feral because of it's huge belly and sagging nipples. There's barely any traffic, allowing for a certain isolated-type of wandering. I was a wilderness ranger for the Forest Service in Arizona, and followed grizzly bears and wolves around Glacier National Park in Montana, but somehow, at times like this, Baltimore feels more quiet and wild than the deepest woods.

Earl and I walk to St. Mary's (aka Crackrock Park, because of it's predilection among smokers of the drug) and upon entering see a gaggle? cackle? of ravens pecking at something. Earl runs towards them as I eagerly anticipate their graphic flight against the grey sky. Earl is disinterested in their find, thankfully, because it turns out to be a well-worn sanitary napkin. It's at once repulsive and gorgeous. I wonder how Poe would've worked it into verse? The Joy of Man's Desire plays on my phone and the rain comes down harder. Earl is chasing a squirrel now.

M and I found an actual bag of crack at this park a couple of weeks ago. Curious for, I guess, curiousity's sake, we (I) positioned the little bag in between the bark just above eye-level, thinking it would be a glorious treat for buying a beer for a spare-changer or something... Turns out it's still there, and now it's a contest to see how long it lasts. Most of the folks looking for dropped goods have the "crack hunch" where they slowly shuffle across the park kicking at leaves and rocks...but I say, keep your heads up folks, you never know what will turn up.

There's a tree there with acorns scattered over the sidewalk. I ritually stop to step on them, thinking I'm helping out the squirrels while massaging the pressure points in my feet.

Bro is 39 today. Happy Birthday!