Composite Moment (part 1)

I don’t know when the moment started, and I don’t know how it got compressed down from so many hours to the blink of an eye, but it hit me as a moment when I was on my way into town to shoot the show (Home Power Hour). The moment has stretchy ends now so it is less cohesive, but I’ll try to share the particulars.

Let’s start with the Parking Lot Gypsies. I was heading over to WalMart for some Epsom Salts for my sweetie when I noticed that the parking lot was largely unavailable. There were traffic cones at all my usual entrances and I was moved out of my comfort zone and forced to use some foreign entrance surrounded by strange unfamiliar asphalt. I was of course curious, but I was on a mission.

My peripheral inputs discerned that the parking lot was in fact getting a new set of traffic lines; a refurb really, as no new patterns were appearing. What made this interesting was the crew. I processed their sound first – collecting the cadence of their phrases and the open intimacy of banter. But the Epsom Salts were calling. As I emerged triumphant from the big box I got some clearer visual images.

The mother with her toddler in a shopping cart, admonishing the child not to get burned by the sparkler it was twirling. That’s a good lesson. The father valiantly wrestling the paint spraying machine into submission, as he lay down the crisp new yellow lines that differentiate my space from yours. In shorts and bare chested he was a billboard of bold prison tats; his movements quick and assertive. The Matriach barking redundant orders from around a dangling cigarette; her tiny legs supporting the authority of her bulbous torso.

It struck me that they were a form of Gypsy Band, or maybe even a rock band, sweeping into town to own the stage for some fleeting moment. And own it they do, with their traffic cones and bright machines. They commandeer the resources of the venue for their personal use and strut with the plumage of authority over the space they have acquired. It is temporary authority but it is total control through its duration. They will dominate this parking lot tonight and move their caravan to a new parking lot tomorrow night, for that is when they work. And the whole extended family is there, from toddlers to grandparents, providing a useful service and owning the world they live in. Free on the wind and hard on the earth.

I could not linger, I had collected the requisite impressions, and my sweetie needed a soak.