Cops in El Paso:
I still miss my friend who is an El Paso cop, once assigned to airport duty.

Last time at the airport, it was there I saw the “ghost of Kramer past,” in the airport, waiting on my delayed flight. The man was dressed in all black, as in black Levi’s, black purse, black t-shirt with the white, bold lettering of some band.

I looked at his face. He was obviously a “white” boy, but he was deeply tan from either a tanning bed or almost daily exposure to bright Southwestern sun. He moved with a kind of confidence, like he owned his space. He knew what he was doing and he was familiar with his body. Long, long hair, but thinning at the top, just enough so that his face was tan but exposed scalp, like at his make-shift part, that was sunburned.

Thin, certainly thinner than I am now, his apparent grace and comfort within his surroundings indicated he was at ease. Travel was part of his world, late planes or not.

There was a “heavy metal” vibe to his appearance, real or imagined. The long hair, the tan skin, the restless nature. Tall, kind of lanky, it was as I appeared a decade ago.

The subtle seams in his face, the crinkles around his eyes, only indication of true age. Otherwise, his demeanor and clothing could be a much younger man.

I was going to describe a mother I watched, from where I was sitting, I could see that there was a problem with the way she applied makeup. With two children, in tow, it was a wonder she had time for makeup at all. Little children, old enough to walk and talk, but not old enough to fend for themselves.

The line along her jaw, the first time I thought it was a trick of the light, and instead, it was just a layer of war paint that didn’t work quite right.

The ghost of myself was really spooky because I was going to bemoan the loss of my airport cop friend. Scorpio. No, she’s still a cop, and she’s still very cool and in touch, but she doesn’t have the airport beat any longer.

Seeing her one time, a big hello and her partner looking askance at my disheveled appearance, as compared to her warm welcome, the taser jokes and apparent intimate knowledge – she’s a client – I don’t “do” Scorpio’s – or cops – that whole scene is one of the happier airport moments etched in my mind.

Looking at a ghost image of myself, a decade earlier, later, made me understand more about myself.

“To be in the process of change is not evil, any more than to be the product of change is good.” Book IV, #42
Marcus Aurelius

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There’s always a full month’s subscription to the horoscopes, too.

Single Image Link:
This is precisely what thrills me about San Antonio and Bexar County, the ubiquitous simple side project.

A warm day in the fall. I’d taken off in a pointless meandering route to reach a church, or a historic location, or a church that was historic. Who knows? Something. Between the giant freeway lanes and below the radar, in a marginal neighborhood, that lad, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, was poised. I’m not sure if it is antique lawn art, pop art, advertising, or some clever combination of all three.

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah Mar 16, 2010 @ 13:36

    One of my interior images, often seen in quasi-dreaming: traveling oob, space is curved, far along the track, seeing a figure seated in the farther distance, coming closer, it’s me. But is it me now, or me then or from an altiverse? Never get far along enough in the plot to find out. Maybe someday. Who is that person, way up ahead? What would happen if I caught up to her? Would we merge? Implode? Cancel each other out (matter/antimatter)?

  • Kramer Wetzel Mar 16, 2010 @ 16:33

    This was a very powerful “ghost of Kramer past” and in a good way.

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