covid street report

Mar 19 2020


the most money i’ve ever made in a single day of work (messengering, my brief stints in an office, any of it) was working the serve during a global pandemic.

the process is different than usual. gloves, disinfectant. money goes in a home depot bag, i don’t touch it. no reviewing your options- i have too many calls to chop it up with you about “what has a fruity flavor” or whatever.

the mood is different too. i feel like a health worker (i guess in a way i am) (“tell it to the judge”)- the streets are d-e-a-d and i’m going from house to house snapping on rubber gloves and disinfecting every fucking thing and this dude by the stadiums wants to know if we have ______  and this dude in cedar park thinks it’s cool to let his dog jump all over me. i’m blitzing through my pre roll just trying to keep my nerves in check.

“oh yeah, i’m working from home so i’m stocking up”

“yeah man, my job just closed and i’m laid off so i figured i’d better get it while i can”

”yo, if you guys are hiring i just started doing uber eats two days ago, so i can ride a bike and shit like that”

”at least your job isn’t going anywhere hahaha”

as my shift goes on the calls pile up. it’s good- too busy is better than too slow and i have no foreseeable employment prospects in the real world right now anyway. big loop from deep south all the way to west and back. one custy in a dino jr shirt takes the product with rubber gloves on and lysol’s the baggies. when i go to leave, i hear him lysoling the doorknob. i can’t decide if he’s overdoing it or not.

by 8pm the only cars out are police.

drop in chinatown- it feels like it’s 2am outside. i wish i was out writing instead of working. whatever, at least everyone has been nice and happy to see me. “in a way, you’re helping keep people indoors” a custy tells me, laughing as i lysol wipe everything before i leave his house, “you’re like quarantine enforcement”.

i went to ______’s after shift to burn one for the ride home. it’s starting to rain and i live on the other side of the city. he got 3 spots last night because his homie ____ has a car and he’s showing me flicks. i’m hyped for him, i spend too much time training to pursue a full time graffiti career (but whacha gonna do? bikes rule!!). as i’m looking, i realize that so many of my friends spend so much time outside of the system, it doesn’t matter if it collapses or not. we’ll survive.

-j. winchester