I'm at the old squat, Hell Squat, with a still camera and a video camera, taking footage, documenting, mostly shitty walls. I go for this sort of thing.
I'm leaving and there's a black guy, really looking roughed up by life on the street; one eye squinting, jeans so faded they'd be white if they weren't so grey, ashen dirt all over him. He's trying to get my attention, he wants something. I'm trying to ignore him.
He sees my camera. I panic, thinking he's going to try to take my camera, which is a heavy box of unlikely gears and levers with an insanely complicated 6-lens telescoping assembly, looking like some sort of fractal cannon.
He doesn't want money or the camera, he wants help, help dragging the bags out of the basement.
I never went in the basement.
He's dragging some now, I hadn't noticed before. Thick, black contractor bags, with something sticking at odd angle out of the central mass, like 2x4s or branches.
"What's in the bags?" I ask.
He opens the bag to show me the bodies. Rotting, desiccated, legs are all I can really get a good look at, yellow skin, oozing sores.
A policewoman is questioning me. She's beautiful and black, like a TV show cop on a show about models who quit modeling and become cops. She has hair braids, island style, like Bo Derek in 10.
I'm the prime suspect, but she's pretending that maybe I can give her some clues as to who really did it.
I'm trying to remember anything, any clue and then I remember... it was Bob! I start shouting at her, "Bob, bob... he lived in the front room, he had a computer and this is like 1984." I look over at Kat, who's on an incongruous bunk-bed off to the side... "was it 1984?"
"More like 1987, hun," she says. She is bored out of her mind.
"Okay it's more like 1987, but come on! Nobody had a computer then. And this guy had a computer, and he was a programmer, and he had money, but what was he doing at the squat? What was he doing there?"
The policewoman seems amused, but helpless.
"How am I going to find this guy?" she asks finally.
"I don't know, but I see him around. I've seen him on the trolley... he's around. He's in Philly! His name is Bob!"
I wake, later and I remember: his name wasn't Bob.
In my head I hear a sound, more of a distant memory of a sound... a [whee! whee!] sound, like a bat screech mixed with a squealing tire, staccato, repeated once.
"Vince," I mumble.
His name was Vince.Posted by illovich at November 13, 2003 01:40 PM | TrackBack