Contemplating plumage

Got my computer back and it is sitting in the back room because it’s pretty much nonfunctional right now and that’s how that stands. While H.o.p. sleepeth I blog from his pretty well dysfunctional computer which has a teeny tiny screen. It’s a dinosaur with zip memory and power (but it’s doing better than mine is right now, isn’t it) and so I can do nothing with it, besides which it is his computer. So you will not be seeing any time soon one of the pretty pics I took of the flamingos (zoo trip on Monday) which I’d worked with a bit. Which is just fine because Perez Hilton takes up the slack and is vastly more entertaining, I’ve decided.

In lieu of being able to treat you with pics of the hookers working outside the building (still have digital camera but no way to upload pics) I’ve been thinking it’s time for a co-blogger, someone with personality who doesn’t sit around painting baseboards. Not that I was actually thinking of posting pics of the hookers, because I have this odd idea that I would be invading their privacy and they would somehow find out about it and beat me up.

The transhookers we’ve always had around here but they kept to their corners pretty much looking out for the cars with out-of-county license plates. The new flock of hookers moved in from another neighborhood and are aggressive, chasing locals. As daylight dawns and the street scene switches to daylight women tromping up and down the street on the way to 9 to 5 jobs, even when they are in high stompy heels there is no echoing clop which you can hear from 100 paces, their step is nearly silent, so I’ve decided the hookers have somehow amped up the clop of their heels intentionally and it something like a mating call or business advertisement. The new upscale condos on the corner look like something out of Mary Poppinsville (and they smell nice too now that they’ve taken care of their sewer issues) and I would’ve thought their presence would cow the hookers but I’ve obviously not the heart and mind of a hooker because instead cozy Poppinsville seems to make for only a more opportunistic staging area. Except the hookers usually don’t walk that side of our narrow street. They keep to this side.

I was asked what H.o.p. thinks of the hookers. He is blithely unaware. They are a late late night breed, as are we, but he is still unaware as they aren’t noticeable unless you’re in the front side room at night, which we aren’t. And when he’s coming and going by vehicle it’s always earlier in the evening and only the transhookers are out then on their corners, and when we pass they always are in singles rather than pairs and quietly, taciturnly surveying, They are dressed to sell but have a way of blending into the street as well. A dual identity where they are both there but receding visually as you pass, looking almost insecure in comparison to the other hookers. At least during the early hours. The late night transhookers are flashier in presence but I rarely see them. And the late night hookers don’t seem to see me. The early evening transhookers do, when I pass, however fleeting a glance. They have been around a while, I recognize them, and there is something in the eyes as they briefly glance then look away and I’ve never been able to quite say what it is. Maybe it’s just the striving for ambiguity, walking the edge of blending in but not. I always feel like they are testing–have I accomplished it, do I blend in just the right way, does that woman see another woman who could simply be out for a walk to the store or does she see a transhooker, and even now that she’s seen me regularly out here on my corner and we recognize each other in passing, what identity does she see when she’s looking at me? At least that’s what I am made to think when we pass and they glance. But of course I don’t know what is actually on their minds.

Anyway, I am fully aware this blog is in need of a vastly more entertaining co-blogger, one with tantalizing plumage. But that sort of person will have a blog of their own, won’t they.

H.o.p. is now up and telling me my “favorite” show is on. He believes since I have sometimes enjoyed watching the PBS Antiques Road Show that it is my “favorite” show. Any show I have at one point seemed to enjoyed for a minute or two becomes my favorite show.

“Mom, that show that has the sculptures you like is on! I know it’s your favorite show! Mom, I just saw a rattle that has a human face a frog going up to the human face and a raven on the back. It’s really pretty.”

I walk in and note to him it’s a Tsimshian rattle.

“I know, it’s an Indian rattle! Come on and watch with me.”

So I will.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

5 thoughts on “Contemplating plumage”

  1. if I had any money I’d buy you a NEW computer, but since I don’t, I think somebody ought to throw a benefit for a busted and broken computer which would be beneficial to all your busted and broken readers….in the meantime watch the good stuff with H.O.P.and rest……………….

  2. Virginia, thanks for the thoughts. However, the world isn’t that much in need of what I’ve to offer here. Today I started tackling the back storage room, clearing, reconsolidating, cleaning, prepping it for me to paint the windows (maybe tomorrow or Monday) so it will look a bit more inviting. While H.o.p. gets a break from mom and goes to the park with his dad to feed the ducks and play. When he gets back he says he wants to make a chess set. Doesn’t want to learn how to play chess. Just wants to sculpt a chess set–probably space aliens and and zombies and dragons and other creatures.

  3. What an interesting post–it starts out with computer blues at home leading to a riff on streetwalker succession, a kind of nocturnal natural history of working girls (or not girls) on your corner. Then it ends up in your own home again. A nice tour of the neighborhood.

  4. As you know, I see signs…..EVERYWHERE.

    So, maybe the busted computer is something in that vein…….

    Hookers…the broken women….living in a world that marks them as property.

    Back to cleaning my floors……

  5. And a shoe is a shoe to the person who’s wearing it. 🙂 If it is an ill-fitting shoe it is also foot problems but if it is a good shoe it means a guard against foot problems. If it is made by child labor in Indonesia it is a good or bad shoe made by child labor in Indonesia and there is all kinds of meaning wrapped up in that. But the shoe is still, however, a shoe to the person who sees it as “shoe” and understands it as such and wears it as such.

    In this case, broken computer means not being able to update a website for someone and not being able to update three of the volunteer websites and not being able to help a sister-in-law with a video she wants to do to celebrate an adopted daughter. Means not being able to finish up a portrait I was working on for someone else. Means not being able to put together in Quicktime H.o.p.’s latest animation. Means not being able to finish the next Hanford picture I was nearly done with, on which I’d spent a couple of months (not much to show for it but was a lot of work, lots of detail). Means not being able to work on a couple of other portraits I was doing for fun. I make very little money off what I do and have turned down several jobs in the past three monthsr because the pay offered was so little, but I have been saving nearly from my computer work for the past year plus some for braces that H.o.p. is obviously going to need. So, that’s been a good bit what working computer means to me.

    To our apartment, the broken computer has meant touched-up paint. And more touching up today probably (has more to be done) and today I’ll probably pull out the drill and put up some hangers in the kitchen for utensils and a plant light in the front room that I’ve neglected to put up, and that will mean happier looking plants for the hookers to not view at night as the light in that front room is usually off at night.

    A broken computer in the back room, at night, is a shin-bruising occurrence. It is that. Ouch.

    Hoperfully, the computer will be up and running some time this week and will become again something more than a floor space occupying object. I’m part of a group that volunteers time to working on damaged photos from hurricane Katrina and hopefully it will be in working order soon as I’m supposed to be getting in some photos to work on.

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