Monday, December 17, 2007

20 Minute Walk

While watching the fourth season of The Wire, they mentioned the street I live on as a location of a murdered witness in a pending investigation. Granted it was several blocks from here, but it underscored this bizarre feeling of watching the series then walking out onto the set. Baltimore is full of these bizarre contrasts.

If you walk out my door and turn right, you're on the campus of The Maryland Institute College of Art where, I suppose, millions have been spent in the last couple of years on new buildings, etc. When walking out and turning left, as I did today, in three blocks you'd find yourself passing men pushing empty baby strollers (I see this often), a for rent sign that says "You are gay", a single-toothed man who leaps up the steps fifty feet in advance to avoid me and Earl. After I relay our friendliness he responds with the largest, most adorable smile "Well OK! You both have a GREAT day!". Then you'd pass a funeral in progress at the community church, a woman on the corner who tells me what a beautiful dog Earl is, then looping back to the neighborhood, you'd find a bunch of enemas laying on the ground. About five of them. I don't think I would have known they were enemas if not for the box with one peeking out. The others were just laying around empty and deflated. At first I thought they might be cake decorating tubes, and wow what a coincendence, M was just needing one for her gingerbread cookies, but after further inspection...

This city continues to amaze me, but sometimes I feel the shock of witnessing these contrasts knocks me off balance. Not quite sure what space I occupy here.