Off the Grid
By Royal Hopper
A lone person squats in the darkness by a stream of running water soaking an old shirt in the water and periodically wringing the cloth out in the water as it rushes over the black stone they squat on looking for all the world like an extra in a movie about pioneers.
The smell of oil and sand, decades old grime, alcohol and desperation is everywhere. Just where is this mysterious washer woman washing her or his soiled linens. Just a minute and I will tell you. Keep reading..
There is an entire subset of Sin City citizens that lives on the edge in between the margins like the pioneers like homeless extras in an old John Wayne cowboy movie. (Look it up) Normally they are all but invisible but if you look you can see them. Washing their clothes in the stream of run off on dark city streets.
Some like the woman seen wandering into Wal_Mart last week dressed like an extra in a Madonna music video or a really dedicated Jackie O (look them up both of them)
fan as if Camelot had been reborn at the big box store near you.
Jesus Saves says one sign on the boulevard as you make your way south away from the Sinniest part of Sin City and toward the suburbs. Hungry and homeless says another sign held by another sign holder as you drive toward the relative safety of the burbs. In another place and another dimension stumbles up the counter of an over priced casino café and throws an undetermined number of bills on its shiny stone surface and points at an item in glass shelf beneath it. His clothes are expensive _ his jewelry equally so. He doesn’t have a clue what things actually cost and looks confused when the clerk rings the item up and hands him his change.
There are dozens more _ but lets get back to our person by the “stream..”
They are washing their clothing in the time honored manner of all third world pioneers as the metal framed cart containing the bulk of their clothes sits close by _ partially shielding them from onlookers until the light from the crescent moon glints of the polished metal giving the washer and her dirty laundry away.
Then as the clouds pass by the sliver of moon in the sky the stream of water the lobe figure hunches over reveals the reflected neon glory of the jungle the person labors to wash their clothes in _ the urban jungle that is . The lone figure washing their clothes isn’t in some benighted third world country like Borneo or Alabama.. There are birds nearby to be sure but they are bright neon birds and neon trees and digital picture of half naked dancers and glasses of wine 30 feet tall. This is in the heart of Sin City. The back stone they squat on is asphalt and the stream is run off from one of the rare desert rain storms and the wagon that holds their possessions is a shopping cart.
. People live entire lives in their heads sometimes just feet away from people who live entire lives off, off grid washing their clothes in a stream on the street.
I tried to get a picture but it was night and I was driving.
That is life in the City of Sin
Take Care Sinners