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Yesterday’s Office

Lake Kivu: bats begin
 

Memories of Tim Burton’s Batman.

Arrived late into Sante Fe with a few dollars, a backback and teenage energy planning to eventually meet up with a friend before heading down to the border. Regulars to Sante Fe will know that there’s little open in the small hours other than the odd diner and gas station. The sign said open 24 hours, but an hour later they turfed us out, the only other patron, a plump, mid-thirties gent who had ordered eggs-over-easy sandwiched between two pieces of limp wholewheat offered me a place to stay and a short ride later we were clanking up a service elevator to his loft apartment, a perk of his security job in the artisanal shopping mall below. A shower and a blanket later I was crashed out on his sofa watching batman TV series reruns – I think it was on Fox, was cashing in on mind-share of the pending movie release happening later in the day.

After a bit of chit-chat the plump host retired to his room, the lights went out, the TV was silent. And then from the other room a voice:

“Jaarn”

“…”

“Yes”

“You want a blow-job?”

“…”

“Um, no thanks”

Followed by silence.

He was gone by the time I woke in the morning. I imagined him lounging by the mall exit in his uniform, belly spilling over his belted grey trousers, bored watching teens play at shoplifting, letting his mind wander.

Life on the road is inherently a statement of trust in others. Mostly it works out, sometimes it doesn’t and the cost of getting it wrong varies considerably. These kind of experiences are part of growing up, the things that shape, mold, scar and inspire. For some they eventually lead to career moves, and not just as a rent boy. Admittedly not all encounters were that sweet.

Never got to watch the movie, but it stayed with me all these years.

Photo: the equatorial sun has just gone down, and the bats over Kivu Lake, Rwanda, have just come out to feed. Bat trivia: a concept artist friend is in SF this weekend – worked on Batman Begins and designed an iteration of the batmobile and costume.

I suspect all concept artists have worked on an iteration of the batmobile and costume.