03 Five Images - Bingo
1) Woman painting billboard
2) Bolts stacked for display
3) Tree painted with ice
4) Paw prints in mud
5) Knocked down wall creates view
1) Maggie shimmied up the ladder to the middle of billboard, her backpack equipped with spray paint and a crude banner made from a bed sheet.
2) Four boxes of bolts had been left in the store room so when Mr. Carter stopped by after work to get them he was surprised to find the store room belching smoke.
3) It was more than freezing, it was the kind of cold where your breath is almost crystallized.
4) I had walked two blocks--both directions in the streets and back alleys--looking for Bingo and had just given up when I saw a pool of water behind the Jackson's house with paw-prints leading into their backyard.
5) We had been paid to knock the wall down for a remodeling--and that's all we were for their miserly fee.
Bingo was a sweet dog, but gates and fences inspired a personal challenge. One teeth-chattering winter night I chased him through the alley trying to get him back, then he lost me. Freezing and irked enough to give up, I saw paw-prints and pursued them into someone's backyard garden. I went through an open gate; it was no more than a circle of dense hedges and within that it had only patches of grass. On old man was sitting on a folding chair with no shirt on.
"She's drunk, I couldn't stop her getting in the car. She's gone," he croaked. He looked down at his hands, tinged blue.
"Hi, pops," I approached him tentatively looking around. There was no one but him, but the back door was wide open. "You alone here? Anyone home?" I motioned at the door.
"No", he said quietly.
"I'm Jake, I just live down the way." He didn't look at me. "What's your name, old timer?"
"Ted Jenson, Jr." He looked up at me sadly, "1247 Decatur Blvd."