The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Nothing terribly interesting happened today until after I left the supermarket. I went through my usual Saturday routine; payed bills, went to the laundromat, and then the supermarket.

The one exciting thing that happened today was that I ran into Quinton. Quinton is a former neighbor from the hood I grew up in. I lived in that neighborhood up until the age of 27. Quinton is about a decade older than me.

He used to work in the Korean owned neighborhood corner store. When the original Korean owners left for New York and another group of Koreans took over the store, Quinton still remained. One got the feeling that Quinton came as a package deal with the store no matter who owned it.

The last time I saw Quinton was a couple of years ago on a #5 bus headed to Mondawmin. He was lamenting over the fact that all his sisters and everyone he knew had children. I told him that I didn’t have any children. This didn’t seem to cheer him up any.

One got the feeling that he really wanted to be a father ASAP. I never saw a man so anguished and desperate over wanting to be a father. I always thought that only women wanted to be parents. This experience really opened up my eyes to the possibility that men could also want to be parents.

Today, I ran into Quinton for the second time this decade as I was leaving the supermarket. It seems that he has moved into my neighborhood and has acquired a brand new wife. At 40something, it’s his first marriage. I wasn't sure if it would have been a good idea for me to ask if he and his wife had kids yet. I wasn’t sure if it was still a sore spot with him. Since he didn’t bring it up neither did I.

Anyway, I hope that Quinton and his wife are happy and have a house full of kids. Lord knows that there father will cherish them.


During the 90’s my old neighborhood became over run with the drug trade. The dealers were very loud and obnoxious. It was next to impossible to sleep at night. They were not quiet or discreet about what they were doing. They would shout at the top of their lungs the products they were selling. Morning, afternoon, and night in my old neighborhood was tinged with the cries of, “Boy Girl!”, “White Out!” and, “Red Out!”

It was as though they were challenging my neighbors, who were for the most part law abiding citizens to do something.

It all seemed useless. Whenever we’d call the police the dealers would hide then come out again later when the coast was clear. Gradually, the people in my old neighborhood began to move out. When this occurred it, rendering a once vibrant neighborhood into a ghost town inhabited by drug dealers and addicts.

My father and I drove by the old neighborhood a couple of years ago. All the houses have been knocked down. The drug dealers turned it into an empty lifeless shell. It was as though they had sucked the life out of it until there was nothing left but rubble.

link | posted by gail at 10:40 PM |


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