Thank You

Seashore State Park, Va. Beach, Thanksgiving Day


Oh yeah

I forgot to mention:

thanks, Ruth!


Mighty Joe Anderson

is a good friend of mine.

Thumper is Back Online

after more than a year. While still not exactly street-legal, she's at least safe to ride.





I have become convinced that my legs were, in no small part, grown but to propel me through this world so that my eyes might record all this stuff. I am grateful for the opportunity.

Up Behind the Thirty Four Hundred Block

of Kensington this morning, my driver Kent picked up a twenty's era looking settee and shook it for me with the knuckle boom after he had crushed it. A trick one of the "old heads" taught us. Standing out of the way of the radius of the crane, I heard change rattle out onto the gravel of the alley. It was about seven this morning, it was cold and raining. He swiveled the arm around and dropped the couch into the back and I crouched down and got up about three dollars mostly in quarters. A fine catch. From his seat atop the cab of the truck Kent yelled down at me and pointed. I shrugged, yelled "What?" and kicked at a flattened bottle cap that was embedded in the rocks . He came down the ladder, strode his lanky frame over and pointed out the pennies scattered about that I had missed. "Look dude! There's a penny, There's a penny!" bent over and picked them up. "Dude I done got up all the white meat, leave that bullshit," I laughed. "Oh Hell No!" he responded and we laughed and cussed, arguing over pennies in the cold driving rain.


Sir Peter O'Toole FTW

Everyday I Wake Up on This Side of the Dirt

is a Good Fucking Day.

Just Went for a Walk Downtown

To visit Social Services as my food stamps card got declined yesterday at Kroger buying Maymay's birthday Sloppy Joe fixins. See the cool thing about food stamps is they eliminate the need to decide between paying to keep the electricity on or buying food. I didn't change out of my dirty Carhart coveralls and I wore my City of Richmond shirt. I haven't been able to get my case worker on the line since Monday of last week when she told me what I needed to fax her about my new job. My original case worker is long gone, it seems, my second case worker is on extended medical leave. My new case worker never heard of me before Monday.

I tried to communicate all this to a lady who was vetting people in line. She told me that no case workers would be available today and could I come back tomorrow. I said I couldn't as I got my kids then. She then gave me two supervisors' numbers and very nicely turned me away. I went outside, suddenly very light headed again. I had been getting lightheaded all week. There is a nice courtyard there on Marshall and eighth I think, with a canopy framed by tall willow oaks. I sat on a bench and called the numbers. The wind blew and slender willow leaves clattered all around my boots. I hated everyone walking by who looked like they might have a nicer job than me.

Walking the long blocks back to the truck, someone called me back. I didn't get her name because of noise of the traffic. The sky looked gray and cold and low. She took my information and put me on hold. I wondered if I should stop walking and get my paperwork out of my backpack but then noticed I was walking through that homeless no man's land between the dead mall there on Marshall street and the Coliseum. Everything was open, exposed and concrete and faded metal that was tall and brown. There were dudes sitting around a metal table looking drunk. At some point I noticed my call had ended. I got that old feeling again like I was marching through the Apocalypse. I kept walking because I wasn't sure what else to do.


One Year Ago

I sat on my porch, watched the sun go down and smoked the last cigarette I've had to date. It was kind of on a whim. I had two left over that I had thought about spreading out to my daughter's birthday on the Third, but decided that left too much to chance. So I broke them up, went in and told Ruth what I had done. We sat on the couch and watched Lawrence of Arabia while I detoxed that first night. She sat with me like that for months. I started smoking when I was fourteen, that's twenty four years. I'd been smoking two packs a day since the nineties. I believe strongly that my being able to quit and stay quit had very little to do with self-will, or determination.