I Never Found the Body
Oh, those nutty neighborhood crackheads are at it again!
Ed and I pulled up to the studio this morning to find several dudes looking intensely for something through the chain link fence that surrounds the abandoned warehouse complex next door. Of course I had to find out what that was about, so I walked down to the corner, by the railroad tracks.
I asked what was going on, and one of the guys who works in the roofing supply warehouse next door told me that some cracked-up chick, who had been walking down the street, told him there was a dead body “over there behind that tree.”
A little history: My studio is in an old cold storage warehouse that has been converted to one-half studio spaces and one-half antiques business. The owners of the antique store own the building. The building is located in what could be described as “not the best part of town,” but it certainly isn’t the worst either. It’s on the edge of the worst part of town, but also adjacent to Downtown, which is the reason the city is starting to revitalize the area, slowly.
There is a lot of drug activity in the area, and also a lot of foot traffic going back and forth in front of our building, as there is a Salvation Army center a block away. Usually there is no trouble, except for people constantly asking for money. My standard reply is to point to my beat up Trooper and ask them if it looks like I have extra money. That usually gets a laugh.
So anyway, after we all stood there and looked from afar for the body, I decided to take it one step further and squeezed through a hole in the chain link fence. I walked across the open area and over to the place where the body was supposed to be, underneath some elevated air conditioning units.
The area was obviously used as a crack den. There were clothes and trash all over the place, as well as a dead Christmas tree stuffed into a concrete vat, and a public service announcement on the wall, in silver spray paint: “Say no to high crack prices.” I made a photo of that. You’ll see it soon enough. In the same small area, someone had built a couple of lean-tos out of blankets and cardboard boxes. I called out to see if anyone was around, but I got no answer. I started poking around.
There was a wadded-up blanket on a narrow catwalk above me, and if one was high, then I could see how it could have looked like a dead body. That’s all I could find. By now two of the guys from the warehouse had come into the area with me.
One of them walked over to the cardboard fort and pulled down a blanket, but there was more cardboard behind it. I called out again, asking if anyone was in it. This time I got a reply. An obviously-annoyed female voice said, “Yeah!”
Then I asked if they had seen a dead body. Both a man and a woman replied, “No!”
I was obviously disturbing them, so I left it at that. Time to go.
Just as I stopped trespassing and walked across the street, a cop chopper flew low overhead. They flew over a couple more times and disappeared. I never saw any cops, and since I never saw or smelled anything that resembled an actual body, I didn’t bother with it any more. We all decided that the chick in question had seen the blanket on the catwalk and mistook it for what it wasn’t.
Maybe I’ll take another walk over there tomorrow.