I tried to coax the passed out man out from the spot between my neighbor’s front tire and the sidewalk. He didn’t respond to my shaking and yelling in any way and, for a moment, I worried that he wasn’t breathing. I started to forget the meaning of things. Had his skin gone cold? I didn’t know what cold was. What does breath feel like? Do I know CPR? Just as I mustered the courage to roll him onto his back to check his vital signs, I noticed that his chest was moving in and out with a steady breath. Okay. Did he just get wasted and pass out or did he have a stroke. Is he homeless? Are those nice clothes or shabby clothes? I couldn’t tell. I shook him and yelled some more, “Wake up.” He finally opened his eyes, just long enough to raise a finger to his lips and say, “Shh.” I talked to him some more, “Are you okay? I don’t want you to get hurt. If someone tries to park here, they’ll run over you.” When he finally propped himself up, he didn’t say anything or look at me. He stumbled away from his spot to get away from the noise. I went to bed and dreamed about bodies tangled up in an exploded pier.
Two layers of tile and a layer of plywood over 1909 lath and plaster. Between the plywood and plaster, a sheet of wallpaper, flower-side in.