Friday, June 25, 2010

We escaped places like this

An official-looking truck passes slowly. There are lights on the roof that are meant to flash, though they are not flashing now. Along the side are sober black letters that read: Code Enforcement. My friend L says they are measuring the grass, checking that trash cans have been taken in by noon, that paint schemes are approved colors.

What sort of code violation emergency would require the lights to flash? Does it have a siren?

The streets are wide and sunstruck.

"This place reminds me of Texas," says L.

"It looks like Utah," I say.

"I escaped from Texas."

In the cool of the evening we walk through the street fair. The sign at one booth reads: Questions, Meaning, Destiny

A smaller sign asks, Evolution? I see the evolution of man silhouettes beside another chart showing silhouettes that are all human.

Across the street another booth promises Chocolate-Dipped Waffles on a Stick.

A man bends down to ask his kids, "Do you want to see people with feathers on their heads dancing?"

We do. The feather headdresses are gratifyingly high, rippling in the breeze. We don't know what tribe they are meant to be. One dancer is a flabby white guy in a cop moustache. He dances in an offhand manner, elbows in close to his sides, condescending to make a flicking gesture with the tassels in his hands. The woman in front seems to put her heart in it. She stomps and swoops, grinding her enemies to dust.

The moon is bright and high as we walk back to the car, the Evolution? booth disassembled, chairs stacked in the empty street.

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