Miles and miles away from home, we walk through neighborhoods we never want to go through again. We skulk through the shadows like a couple of ninjas, or as Greg likes to say, goonies. I watch a leaf twirling in a puddle for a few minutes and we’re back in the shadows of the skyscrapers before long.
Walking up Grand Avenue in Phoenix, we pass an eclectic corner, I saw a weird vibrant store with dolls and creepy products, seemingly handmade by I am assuming a Tokyo pop girl. There was a band playing in a bar, I poked my lens in a unpainted spot on the glass window to see a level 10 black mage dancing to the music. We went under the 10 freeway, and passed through dark alleyways, feeling more and more on edge.
Remnants of a glass truck which drove by too fast reflect the glow of a nearby streetlight. Two people sat nearby enjoying a cigarette, drinking a few beers.
“What advice would you give the yourself of 15 years ago?”
“That’s a tough one, I mean I had just gotten into real estate at the time, it became pretty terrible for me, and then not too long after a couple planes decided to fly into some buildings in New York. I had all this stuff lined up but you can’t get it all straight… Right now, I am just enjoying this nice evening. My neighbor just hollered at me to come down and hang out. That’s what I am doing. I guess if I had to say anything to myself, it might be to be cautious of the people you let into your lives, who you allow yourself to be vulnerable to.”
The rail yard was open, empty, and full of train cars against the night sky. Walking through, Greg and I had free reign to explore, so we thought at the time. I climbed atop the first car I came across, and had to take a picture of the area. It was cool, and it’s been one of our goals to get into one of these rail yards to explore. The last time we tried we were introduced to the rail patrol, at least this time we were free from these guys. I was on top with my tripod, Greg down below. I turned around and saw two marked vans pulling up behind us. Thinking, well damn, I watched them standing still… They turned around facing away from us, our exit now cut off…
Greg and I, now coming to the conclusion we were screwed decided to get our crap together and find an alternate exit. This entailed us pushing further into the rail yard. I saw a dark figure in the distance, we were not alone. He moved along the edge, ducked behind a concrete divider for a moment, and passed through a chain link fence. I told Greg that’s where we were headed. Looking behind at the vans as we walked with stealth, they didn’t seem to have noticed us. We finally made it to our exit and with relief passed through to freedom. In the rubble filled dirt field we met a man sitting in unusually nice cloths, sparkly button up shirt, didn’t want to be photographed and we respectfully let him be.
We then met Tater Smash, a traveling musician. What guides him is unclear, but his current goal was to head east and find a banjo as his old one broke. He had a dog with him who must make the lonely nights better. He was waiting for an 8 o’clock departure on one of the trains tomorrow. Best luck in your travels.
Useful door on the side of a building, just in case you decide to commit suicide in the middle of your workday in between working up TPS reports? Or maybe just a secret cigarette break spot that was designed for utility guys. Someone broke a window in the U of A building and Greg’s light bulb is still proudly sitting on its throne!