We were slipping off of the safe-zone grid and were driving to the area known as the downriver section of the city: a no man’s-land of warehouses, factories and empty buildings. It was vividly where no one went at night without a reason to murder someone, to be murdered, or to dump a body. No one ventured at night down into these warehouse side streets without a gun in the glove box and I was hoping he had one.
In the 30,000 square foot dungeon of machinery, smells, rats, cats, hardworking and some cantankerous tradesmen and women—Charlie could have hidden out and nursed his intense bodily pain by sitting in his front office chair. But there was a calling for Charlie on the bustling Typocraft floor, and he heard the call. His hyper fascination with mechanisms, along with his emerging visual artistic spirit, exploded into overdrive as the two were inextricably married to the limitless possible creations an inked machine could apply to a sheet of paper.
Part of me didn’t want to settle for this living arrangement, and part of me understood what he needed to do, and part of me felt conflicted while the other half was enjoying the ride. I was both a hypocrite feminist and emerging muse. I was lost and found at the same time, but a little voice kept telling me to just love him.
If he was dying, he sure as shit was giving death the finger, but I wanted more time with him. He wanted more time with his work. I was lonely and at the same time, in love with him and his hanging, dripping wet negatives, floor to ceiling stacks of equipment, and horrible-smelling developing chemicals. I had to settle for being the center of his world and told to pee eight floors down when he held our only bathroom hostage. I had to hope to be stronger and deeper than I feared I was.