Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Call The Police

Photographed by me last October seeking a 1930s effect
I was at work a couple of weeks ago when a woman called the police to report something suspicious. She told my colleague someone was photographing the pond in front of the police station. The pool of water is at the corner of Truman Avenue and Eisenhower separated from the police station by a wall of mangroves. I suppose in the right light it may be photogenic, I tried to get a certain old school effect in the picture above, but the woman was advised that taking photos in public isn't  a crime.
We live in strange times, I have to keep reminding myself of that. Cameras are everywhere, with home insecurity systems rife in a town where far too many people have second homes you will be photographed walking down the street. They spend most of the year somewhere else anxiously watching their remote screens for illicit activity..
I see a lot of beauty in Key West but not enough to sit and face it all the time. I was figuring the bench below was positioned so someone could test the theory about the boredom of watching paint dry.  Why else have the bench facing inwards? Some obscure city ordinance?
Once upon a time wearing a mask in public was suspicious. Should I have assumed the man below was robbing Sandy's Cafe or buying lunch while protecting his neighbors from germs? Either way I confess I failed to call the police and continued about my important task of dog walking.
Sometimes people call to report a dead body on the street. I think he's either drunk asleep or dead. Dead? I doubt it. When people are dead passersby know it in some visceral way. If they are unsure I can guarantee the "dead person" is sleeping it off. I can hear it in a caller's voice when they really are with someone who died, there is an unmistakable tension in their voice. Either way we send help of course and in a town where people drink to excess there are a lot of people sleeping on sidewalks. Or there used to be. Nowadays of course there is no one anywhere.
Chickens roam everywhere to take up the space formerly occupied by people. I can't escape them. That or I just notice them more now that they are the only signs of movement on the streets.
One can joke about watching paint dry but Key West is full of picturesque views and colors and shadows. It  would be easy to do this and no more were we not called to work and do things and be active. 
When I was  a child in England the Highway Code taught us to look left, then look right and then look left again before we stepped off the curb. It was backwards because they are in the third of the planet that has recreation driving on the left so traffic comes from the wrong direction. But the principle remains valid and yet all that good training about looking both ways is going to waste in this pandemic.
Truman Avenue can be crossed with relative ease most times of the day, rush hours excluded, and I wonder how long it will take to train Rusty to respect the traffic again. Probably one walk as he is pretty smart. 
There will no doubt end up being a call on record sooner or later as paranoia mounts, about some idiot walking his dog with a camera on a  public street. That will be me.