Thursday, April 2, 2009

Utility boxed

In the photo is a painted utility box in the city I work for. Ugly box. Hidden.

I did a fair share of ducking and hiding in college. If in the mood, I'd avoid the lawn hangouts, walk the alleys instead of the streets, and ride my skateboard through campus as a social defense.

When I worked in the Sproul Hall dorm cafeteria, I was happiest in the back scrubbing pots and hosing down floor mats. I'd leave work after the dinner shift and wind down with the quiet walk home to my apartment. I even missed street mayhem after the basketball team won the NCAA championship. While the other kids were climbing traffic signal poles, rocking cars as they tried to pass, and running away from LAPD officers in riot gear, I was busy mopping up the kitchen floor.

One of my favorite 'zines in those days was Dishwasher. I enjoyed reading about the travels of Dishwasher Pete, who quietly worked as a dish dog up and down the U.S. He was even kind enough to screenprint a Dishwasher t-shirt for me. Lessons learned from Pete...simplify, persist, don't lose your sense of humor, weigh anchor when the time is right...

1 comment:

pneyu said...

Oh, I love Dishwasher Pete and his stories on This American Life. The oil rig still takes the prize. I'm just jealous that he set his goal of washing dishes in 50 states before I did.

p.s. This is Cuong's sister.