10/2/09 Puncture Wound and Working on “Seam”

The puncture wound in my canvas

The puncture wound in my canvas

Carrot Cake Break

Carrot Cake Break

Caught them both asleep

Caught them both asleep

It is now October and still, yellow butterflies accompany me into the site but now along with dust devils.  It is wind season now.  The wind blew my canvas against a sharp edge and I got a small puncture wound in it-nothing I can’t fix, though.  Holes in my canvas are to me like varicose veins in my legs.  They are natural, not ugly; surfaces gaining a patina of time is all.  It gives greater depth.  It has been a dark, cold day.  We decided not to make a fire but collected wood to use for when it does get cold.  We had to hide the wood.  We don’t want someone moving into the factory by making it too comfortable with entrances sealed, gallons of drinking water (for the dog) and stacks of firewood and kindling laid out in plain site. Both my bodyguard and dog were snoring.  I tried to sneak up on them to take a photo of them asleep. They woke up at the same time as I approached them.  It is hard to step silently when the ground is solid broken glass.

The highlight of the day was eating homemade carrot cake I’d made.  My bodyguard brought me a banana.  In today’s banter, he told me his girlfriend and her daughter wanted to come over and sleep with him last night but that he had to say no because his landlord’s girlfriend was acting crazy on crack.  My bodyguard just shuts his door when his landlord has his girl friend over.  The landlord is in his sixties and his girlfriend in her twenties.  I asked my bodyguard if he’d get arrested along with the landlord and his girlfriend if crack were discovered in the house since he lives there too.  He didn’t answer. He doesn’t really have a choice since rent is only $120/month.  He is not going to get a place that cheap again.  He did tell me that he knows lots of people that like jail and consider it home, though.  He knows people that try to go to jail. He said that in jail they get three meals a day, have heat, get to watch television and take showers.  He has been in jail for a short time but didn’t like it.  We talked about him moving to where his aunt lives in Omaha to try and find a good job.  He has a cousin who is a bus driver.  My bodyguard says he would like to do a job like that except that he is afraid he is too old and won’t be able to get a job.  He is 55 years old.  He graduated High School in East Saint Louis in 1975.  He did have a couple jobs, but they all went out of business.  There is no work left around here to do.  He doesn’t really want to move up North to Omaha because it is cold.  That is where his only family relation and connection lives-his mother’s sister.  Everyone else he knows lives here.  His grown son lives here.  That is all the family he has.  My bodyguard went on to complain about how his son takes money from him but that he won’t give him money in return.  (The son gets $600/month because he has sickle cell anemia.)  I told him that he was being a good father and that is what fathers do.  He said he was going to call Hank on Sunday to try and clean things up at the store and also call his aunt in Omaha.  He gets free cell phone minutes Sunday nights so he will call then.  I had to leave at 6PM sharp to make it home to Saint Louis because TPM has a rancher friend with a load of alpacas that needs a place to sleep…


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