as i rounded the park for the 2nd time, it began to come alive. the 1st thing i saw were the dim, yellow lights of a barely running ancient motor-home. it moved toward me like the hull of a giant, ancient, parasitized insect. when it found a length of curb, it stopped (or coincidentally gave out, it was hard to tell) and almost immediately the door opened to release an impossible number of scabby, enthusiastic children onto the filthy sidewalk. they surrounded me and peppered me with questions, 'are you afraid?', 'why did they put you here?', 'can we pet your dog?'. as i looked at them i could see they all lived lives of horrible neglect; torn, dirty, wrong sized clothing, rotten teeth, dirty hair, long black nails and bare, dirty feet. the sweetest one was a boy with a profoundly infected cleft palate. he had found a way to speak around his deformity and wanted to be sure i survived the night. 'whatever you do, don't go there' he said as he pointed to a place i had already passed once. 'why?' i asked. 'they will kill you if you walk there' he answered sincerely. i looked down at my dog who somehow seemed to understand that we were in way over our heads. 'thanks, i won't, i promise' i said as i tousled his greasy head.
there was no walkie reception anywhere in the park and i decided the meth-head would be my only arrest that night. soon the park was lined with a wall of broken campers and rv's. the children played in the dark, filthy park like it was the sweetest, sunny day ever born. their pure little voices made me feel on the verge of tears. at one point, they led me to the camper of a prostitute so one of them could retrieve a ball. as we approached, the door swung wide and a wrecked woman stood in the hollow as a john poured past her out onto the street. she laughed when she saw the expression on my face when i looked at the jackson pollack painting of menstrual blood between her legs. 'haha, oh, you 'jes a baby. da store don't close fo' a lil' rain!'