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Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog



I could see them from my second-story office window: a young man and woman, scruffy, bohemian. She in dirty yellow dreads that dangled from her head like dead vines, he in a cotton cap and sunglasses, slack-jawed.

She was buxom and in a stained, brown miniskirt that was lifted up in the rear by her fanny pack, revealing … I couldn’t tell from my height and distance but I squinted at the sight, trying to determine what it was I was seeing.

They parked in a silver station wagon of some recent European make and model. I don’t know cars but I can tell when people are living in them – and they were living in this one. The vehicle was packed haphazardly with the kinds of things you don’t usually see in a vehicle – bags of clothes, what looked like a birdcage, a number of boxes, dirty dishes on the dashboard.

Back and forth all day they went: out of my sight, now back at the car, now gone again, the cotton-capped boy clutching his guitar. I don’t know where they went but our small town is known for busking: crooners, skronkers, pluckers, strummers, and thumpers litter the sidewalks, their musical ability, or lack thereof, thrust out over the upturned hunger of their hats and instrument cases -the musical equivalent of a groping hand in your face.

I watched the kids peripherally as they went back and forth that first day. An office window, while pleasant, becomes dull with routine after a while but their newness to the scene and the sagging opulence of the young woman’s barely covered breasts renewed my interest. Work won me over in the end, however, and as the day closed, I forgot about them.

The following morning, catching a hint of activity out of the corner of my eye, I realized they were still there, in the car, having apparently slept there. They were breaking their fast: she in the driver’s seat turned as best as her seat would allow to face him in the back, now rolling down the window to ask something of a passerby, then back to her munching conversation with her companion. An hour or so after I noticed them, they had again departed for the streets.

The place they were parked – a packed earth courtyard of a back lot, surrounded by businesses and apartments – serves as temporary, daily parking for a large number of cars, as well as a conduit for deliveries. Parking here, except for the couple of slots provided for the tenants of the apartments, is strictly limited to two-hour increments between the hours of 10am – 4pm, or as strictly as the volunteer force that polices such things can maintain.

Somehow that first day, the kids and their car had managed to land either in one of the holes in the enforcement of the lot’s policy or had simply ignored the tickets – I don’t know which but today their luck began to wear thin.

Shortly after they left, first one and then another cop car appeared. Exiting their cruisers, the officers approached the unoccupied vehicle with obvious interest. I raised my window to catch their conversation but the distance and street noise prohibited eavesdropping.

They circled and stared at the car and its motley contents, then poked about the immediate neighborhood. They were around for over an hour but the kids never reappeared and the police left.

The next day, when I peered out at the car, it was empty. Had the kids gotten an early start, found somewhere else to stay, ended up in jail?

Around 10am, one of the police officers returned and spoke with the landlord of the apartments outside of which the car was parked. Clearly the woman was angry as she gestured towards the station wagon, indicating how it impeded the parking of her tenants. The officer took pictures, prepared paperwork, and radioed in.

Moments later a tow truck appeared and, after conferring with the officer, the driver of the tow truck began hooking the silver station wagon up to his vehicle. The officer departed and, shortly, the tow truck and its prisoner did as well.

Hours later, I was immersed in my work when a bark of dismay alerted me to the return of at least one of the vehicle’s owners.

It was the girl, now in stained coveralls. She circled the spot where her car had been and threw up her hands. I looked for her companion but only noted a red, late model sedan idling nearby.

The girl walked briskly over to the nearest building and, before I realized what she was doing, unhitched her tan coveralls and squatted in the dust, relieving herself. She was partially hidden from my view at this angle but anyone using the parking lot could not have mistaken what she was doing. I watched in fascination as she hunkered thus for what seemed a long while.

Then, her statement finished, she stood, tugged her coveralls up over her nakedness, and strode casually over to the waiting vehicle.

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