I woke up Tuesday morning set to spend the day devoted to working on Sue’s photos but checking my email I discovered that I was part of Dreamhost’s $7,500,000 f*** u* in which they accidentally way overcharged all their customers. Only I didn’t know this was a major all-encompassing script snafu yet. All I knew was that my account, which I always pay up for a full year every August, was being erroneously and hugely billed. When I saw the web control panel was down though I figured something was up and immediately checked their status blog to find they’d a post up about the mess. Very big mess. 26 pages of comments on that status blog. And yet more here on the regular Dreamhost blog.
Then we got a parking ticket when we weren’t even in the wrong, and we have a customer receipt to prove it but who has the time to go down and protest the ticket.
I worked on Sue’s photos, occasionally checking in on the Dreamhost status blog to see how things were going there. When my brother called to talk early Tuesday evening I was just about done, and ready for a break. I told him about how Sunday evening, as H.o.p. was preparing for bed, he called me in to see ALL THE BLUE AND RED LIGHTS down on the corner. Monday, we discovered that one man had been shot dead and another just shot in what was perhaps some drug-related incident. Guy died on the street, two bullets to the chest. And I realized, oh, hell, this must sound really bad considering Marty was almost caught in gunfire a month ago.
Monday night, returning from photographing Sue, walking back to the apartment with H.o.p. from the car, he was reticent.
“Is this where the man got shot?” he asked as we passed one apartment building.
“Is this where the man was killed?” he asked as we passed the next.
Midtown has its problems. Today I was looking up info on the shooting and was sidetracked into reading neighborhood association crime reports for the past couple months. Crime has been worse here lately, like I didn’t know it. But it is all over Atlanta, as well, most crimes up about 25%.
It snowed today. Real snow. Not sleet. Nice large flakes fairly hurled down from the skies. H.o.p. and I stopped reading Lucy and Stephen Hawking’s “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” and went outside to play. Within an hour there was enough snow to scrape off the cars lining the street and start building a small snow man on a strip of grass belonging to the condos next door.
When H.o.p. and I first stepped out, we were laughing, approaching the corner, and surprise out from around the corner of the building pops a vagrant who had apparently heard us coming. “They said it would rain but God decided to make snow!” he exclaimed merrily to us, waving his arms which were covered in plastic bags. I was startled because I just don’t like people popping out from around corners. I wasn’t sure I recognized him or not but I figured he probably recognized us. I may be wrong, but I had the feeling he recognized us. I was already smiling and kept the smile on and said something about it was great, wasn’t it, thinking at the same time it’s not so great for a homeless person. I felt wary because we’d been surprised. I also felt there was no reason to be wary. But he’d surprised me, popping around the corner, and so I was wary. I waited for him to hit me up for some money, but he didn’t. And I had no money on me, having just stepped outside to play with H.o.p. I’d only my keys with me. The vagrant went on his way and I was torn between not liking being surprised and wishing I’d had a couple dollars on me to pass to him on a snowy afternoon.
Anyway, H.o.p. and I, after throwing snowballs at each other, and storing a few in plastic bags in the freezer, scraped together enough snow off the cars to make a small snow man with a snow ball in his twig hand.
None of the pedestrians passing seemed very elated by the snow and most seemed to take no notice of us frolicking.
After a couple of hours of play, H.o.p. was soaked, it was getting dark, I made him go inside and then, realizing the snowman was likely to be accidentally stomped on by dog walkers, I moved it to a more secure plot of green by the building across the street, a spot where H.o.p. could admire our work from our window.
Then, while I stood at the window watching the snow in the dark, a pedestrian likely on his way home from MARTA, passing the small foot-high snowman, stopped, looked, looked again. He stood a moment looking at the snowman then took out his cell phone and photographed the paltry little guy. He crouched down and moved in and photographed it twice more. Then went on his way.
“Our snow man made someone happy,” I called to H.o.p.
He grinned big, pleased.