(2019-03-01) Trailer Park Art
Two denizens of the trailer park meet and discuss art and McDonalds.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the time of day and the general climate in these months would mean the trailer park was in a state of 'riding out the season' lockdown. You'd be wrong, but you'd be forgiven.

And it's all Maxon's fault. Having recently bought and refurbished a trailer that popped up for sale for a whole two days after the previous owner was seen leaving town, he's currently sat under the awning by his door, the trailer bare and unadorned, in what looks to be a remarkably comfortable garden chair. There are three of said chairs around a cheap plastic table, which is currently occupied with two empty beer bottles, an ashtray, one half-full beer bottle and… Yup. Two cats, currently being hand fed pieces of jerky as they prowl around the perimeter.

Maxon himself is at least mostly dressed for the occasion, a thick hoodie with a knit cap, heavy cargo pants and solid working boots, and he's in the process of lighting a fresh cigarette, throwing the nearly-full pack down on the table with a look that can best be described as 'Disgruntled.' Up until one of those cats gets another piece of jerky, at least, pulled from one of the many cargo pant pockets.

A couple of trailers down there is a slamming of a wire door as someone exits. Not that wire doors slam very loudly so the tall woman responsible for the sound has to slam it a few more times to make sure her point is understood. Tall and thin, hidden under a large jacket that has seen better years and numerous owners, she makes her way in Maxon's direction. A large satchel bag slapping against her hip as she strides off, mumbling profanities under her breath.

As she nears the new neighbor and his pets…or the neighborhood strays…she slows down to offer a grunt and an upnod; a generous greeting indeed. Then she is flopping down on the step of the trailer opposite and pulling out a large sketchpad from her bag. It seems Maxon is about to be immortalized.

Letting the smoke drift away in the breeze, Max loses a larger piece of jerky to a tabby that has obviously been fed by quite a few people this way, leaping off the table with the prize to disappear beneath the shadow underneath his trailer. The approach of footsteps gets a little shift in his chair, but as soon as Yazmin appears in his peripheral, that upnod is returned with a raise of the bottle, plucked up in his hand on the way. He's making soft clicking noises at the remaining cat, eyes catching a touch of the light as he watches her pull out the big sketchpad. And he waits. He waits until she's good and ready to call over:

"Question. You any good with spray paint?"

Yazmin pulls out a couple of pencils to start sketching the scene…even if everyone keeps moving! She is intently drawing away already when the question is called over to her. "Depends what you want me to do with it" she deadpans, glancing up to study the cat for a moment. "If you want me to tag your name, the whole idea is you do it yourself. And I don't think I'd feel comfortable tagging 'Pussy-Man'." No trace of a smile though she is probably trying to make a joke. "If you want me to paint something. Sure." A pause. "Does it pay?" She lives in a trailer park, she's obviously not rich.

Max catches a smile at the corner of his mouth, giving a couple of caught exhales that could pass as a laugh, his tongue running across the inside of his cheek, glancing out across the open court for a second as his head shakes. "'Pussy man.'" He chuckles, the words all gravel and hubris as he shakes his head once more before focusing on, what is to him, a kid. "I like that. Not heard it before."

The cigarette pops back in to his mouth at the edge, his thumb suddenly jerking up to point over his shoulder at the exterior of his trailer, frightening the shit out of the second cat in the process. It doesn't quite leave the table, but there's the sound of a wobbling empty bottle for a little while. "Want something other than bright fucking chrome on this thing. Seem to have a lot of artists around here. Shame to waste that." Another cloud. "And yeah. It pays."

Yazmin looks up from her pad to study the side of the trailer. "Any idea what you'd want on it? You want the artists of Calaveras to compete or just paint a square foot each." She considers this a moment. "I mean, if you're a foot fetishist, you might want lots of square feet on your trailer. Probably better inside though. Wouldn't want you to be jerking off outside." She resumes her drawing. "Not that it ever stopped the guy at number twelve. I think that was more a morning ritual though."

Craning his own head around to take a look at the trailer, Max idly slips the one remaining cat another piece of dried food. This one ain't a runner, though, choosing instead to curl up on the table and just make soft chewing noises for the foreseeable future. "That is an awful pun." is his only comment for a little while, taking a little piece of jerky for himself and causing the lit glow from his cigarette to bob around as he chews thoughtfully. "I like birds. Slap a magpie on there and some geometric lines to break it up a little or something. Haven't really thought too hard about it until I got some folks wanting to put something on there." His beer is sipped, the cat is checked on, and only then does he comment: "Glad I'm asleep in the mornings. Name's Max."

"Nah, I think his name is Josiah or something. Definitely not Max" Yazmin smirks before looking up at him again. "Yazmin. My friends call me…well…I'll let you know when I have some. Hey, all puns are awful. And since I'm not a comedian, you have to suffer. A magpie?" A pause. "See how I restrained myself from making any puns about birds. You should thank me." She sketches a little longer. "You have a lot of lines, Max. I really should do this in pastels…or charcoals. I definitely /want/ to paint your trailer."

"Well thank you, Yazmin." Max mutters, his gratitude for being spared any extra puns extremely palpable at the moment he reaches out to scritch his stray behind the ear for a moment, taking his eyes away from the little artist entirely. "- And thanks for that too." That would be to the lines thing, then, the contents of his third and final bottle vanishing before he gathers all three empties to arrange them neatly on the table. "You really got the 'sales patter' thing down, you know?"

"Thanks" Yazmin deadpans. "I've been working real hard on my social interaction skills. I think I've really got the hang of it now." She tilts her head from side to side as she studies her drawing. "It's okay for a quickie" she decides. "You're new, right? Welcome to the neighborhood. If you have anything expensive like, you know, a toaster that works, keep it away from your window. They're like gold around here."

<FS3> Yazmin rolls Reaction+Drawing: Good Success. (3 7 2 2 8 3 3 1 5 5 8 5)

"It really shows, kid." It's honestly difficult to tell if Max is actually appreciating the company right now or not. He's a lot more sedate than usual, but there's a large chance Yazmin is actually seeing more a more genuine presentation of the guy than anyone in town to date. Shame it's impossible for her to know that! "And yeah. Couple of weeks." His finger drum on the table, that cigarette sure seeming to burn down real fast. "You're alright, and thanks for the tip. You ever decide my coffee maker is good for a little extra cash, use the window. Door's rigged when I'm out."

Is he joking? WHO KNOWS.

"A coffee maker? Shit, you should be living in Birchwood." A pause. "Unless you're talking about some chick you have chained to the couch. Even then, you should be living in Birchwood." Yazmin stands, wandering casually over to Max before flipping her sketchpad around to show off the drawing. "This is how I see you" she explains. "I can't afford glasses." It's actually a very good likeness of the man and 'his' cat. There is definite strength in his face, even with all the lines. His lips are curled into a pleasant sneer rather than an outright smile. "Don't use the door, got it. Why Calaveras? In winter? Unless you're here for the skiing." She tears off the paper and hands it to him.

And the coffee-maker comment? That's Max's first genuine smile. "Y'know, I think I know someone who does that second bit." Right there. An actual joke about something pissing him off. She's done the impossible, the social skills practice obviously working for her. "Shit, kid." He says as soon as the page is turned, leaning in a touch in the chair to get a better look. "You see me better than I do, that's for fuckin' sure." He drops the cigarette under a boot, scuffing it out to take the offered paper, giving it one more look before letting it rest on the table. Away from the cat. "Why does anyone come here in winter? Couldn't live where I used to, an' this place was adjacent. And cheap."

"This part of Calaveras is cheap. The rest of it is yuppies and tourists" Yazmin shrugs as she sits herself down uninvited, reaching out to stroke the cat. "An artist always sees the truth. You don't want your mug on the side of the trailer? Would make it easy for people to know who lived there." A frown. "Easy for the cops too." A jerk of her thumb at the trailer she repeatedly slammed the door of. "I sometimes live down there. I try not to if I can help it but they need me to show up every now and then to get my scholarship checks."

"Hey, the heroin addicts have to come from somewhere." Max nods, beckoning a hand out across the rows of trailers. "Forever providing a valuable service, trailer parks. 'Sides, you won't find more honest folks anywhere in the city." Say what you will, Trailer neighbors know how the fuck to close ranks when it's needed. He cranes his neck a little to look in the direction of her indicated temporary home before leaning back in the chair, eyeing his mostly-full pack of smokes once more. "So, what, you're shackin' up with someone? Or somethin' like that?" It's a prying question but said with a lack of true inquisition. One of those 'Answer if you like's.

"One day, maybe" Yazmin shrugs about the shacking. "My foster family live in that trailer. They have to prove I live there to get my money. They're dickheads…and I'm being nice in my word use. Yeah, I guess people round here stick up for each other…if they're not screwing each other over. Seriously, watch that coffee maker. In most places, people don't shit in their own yards. Here, every yard is a toilet. Well…that's how it has treated me at least. But, hey, half-black, I could just be lucky, you know?"

It's a good point. Max; face like an un-maintained road that someone drove a plough over, is at the very least white. And giving that trailer she pointed out another look, actually making a mental note of it this time. Probably for no reason. "Thanks for the advice." He says, once more, going through the motion of tapping out another cigarette but not quite lighting it just yet, instead taking in what he can of the second neighbor he's met, possibly while wondering if he can rig the mains up to the frame of the coffee machine to give any thieves a surprise. "Sound like you got dealt a shitty hand. But if you're not living here permanently, you gotta have some options on the go."

"I have a scholarship to the college. You know, pay those poor minorities to go get a proper education so we can feel better about all the shit we let happen to them every day" Yazmin explains in her flat tone. "So, I sometimes sleep in the study rooms. Have a sleeping bag in my locker. And if the security guards catch me and roust me out, I can usually find somewhere to hide out. Someone's offered me a place, sort of, but she hasn't been around for a while. Has family issues." A shrug. "You play the hand you get. Or you go find another table. Hey, it's not as if you're living high on the hog either. I don't want to make out I have it worse than anyone else."

"I do alright, kid." Well, she's 'Kid', now. Probably because of the 20 year age difference, but maybe because Max seems to be terrible with names. That's gotta be it. "I ain't gonna lie, though, I'm old fashioned as shit, so anything comes up that this mug-" a little hand waves at his face, namely the nose, but the whole thing is an ensemble piece, really. "-can help with, I can always use more friends in town."

And then a beat. "Whatcha studyin'? Art?"

"Shit, my new social skills are really kicking on. A friend?" Yazmin shrugs nonchalantly, because she's a kid, though there is also half a smile. "Sure, a friend would be good in this neighborhood. Or any neighborhood." A nod to his nose. "I'd hate to see the other guy." Yazmin raises one eyebrow at his question about what she is studying but doesn't make any sarcastic comments about the obviousness of it. She is really trying this social thing. "Yeah…art. Almost done too. And then I'll be qualified to work in McDonalds. Already practicing my counter speeches. What do you think of this? 'Would you like fries with that, you fat fuck?'. I think I'm management material for sure."

"Not sure having me as a friend is something most folks would see as a benefit, but I'm pretty good at standing right in the best spot to annoy people." Max offers a smile that's more on the level of his usual attempts, in which it's there, but looks a touch forced and a smidge hollow. Not quite reaching the eyes but trying. "And I know, I know, obvious, but I got a qualification in animal welfare and canine training, certificate an' all. You mighta been doing a social science for all I know."

At the mention of what her education will get her, Max shakes his head, eyes brightening a little as he finally bothers to light his cigarette. "Bullshit. Art degrees are useful for more than workin' in McDonalds. You can laminate 'em and use 'em as place mats, for one. The speech, though?" A little thumbs up. "I think you're nailin' it."

"Hey, I thought you were the one doing the step down in the friend department. You agreed without fully realizing how much people are annoyed with me" Yazmin smirks - who knows when her eyes smiled last? "You train dogs? Cool. I know some bitches you could teach some things to." A snort of amusement about the social science comment. "Yeah, it was either artist or social worker. Probably missed my true calling."

"Laminated place mat? I like it. Functional…and a continual reminder of wasting your life whenever you eat. You're very smart, Max" Yazmin tries to tickle the cat under the chin. "This yours or do you just bring in strays? Yeah, I like the speech too. I wonder if I should add to it with the destruction of the environment that Micky D causes with all their farting cows needing rainforests cleared but I get the feeling I would just be stared at and asked to super-size everything."

"Don't say that, it'll go to my head." Max mutters, turning his head away to exhale as much of the smoke as possible in a direction that does not include Yazmin. The cat, for what it's worth, is all about them chin scratches. "I bring in strays. Always. Animals are better than people." And that's a statement, right there. "And I'm not gonna tell you how to do you future job but dunking your manager's head into the fryer is absolutely a valid form of seizing the means of production."

Okay, these two should not be allowed to go anywhere together.

"I will assume the fryer will be on" Yazmin clarifies. "Hey, with my charm and inspirational leadership, /I/ will be the manager." A nod about the animals. "Yeah, they are better than most people. But rattlesnakes are a little shitty. I guess you live alone then." A pause. "You have a beer you can spare? I'm legal." A tilt of her head. "So, you got punched by a gorilla at the zoo one day?"

"Of course, no doubt you wouldn't be runnin' the place in a month." Max nods, and he's seemingly about to agree with her on the animal part when there's a soft chirrup from the front pockets of his hoodie. The phone is checked, his face narrows in, and it's put back in place where it came from. "Yeah, I live alone." He quietly states, the accent once more becoming much more neutral, losing most of the New York lilt as he pulls open the door to the trailer. It's a little awkward, but after a call of "Gimme a minute!" behind him, and roughly thirty seconds passing, he's coming back out with a fresh bottle, a bag slung over his shoulder, and a slightly oversized, heavy coat thrown on. The beer's offered out before he's reaching down and around the back of the step that leads up to the door, not even fumbling around before there's a soft clicking noise.

Once he's straightened up, and well aware that he was being observed through the whole thing, he turns back to Yazmin, folding that picture she drew to slide into his pocket. "Right, so, I gotta go do something you probably don't want to completely know the details of." He sniffs, pursing the corner of his mouth for a second. "And you just saw me do that, so here's the deal, you ever get in trouble and need a place to hide out? You flick that switch, and get in. There's another on the wall inside, light switch with a red tape. It makes the door handle… interesting." Another sniff. "That's a lot in one go, but I gotta go see a guy and probably get my nose broke again, so, we cool?"

Yeah, that was all a bit odd…to someone who isn't from the trailer park. But to Yazmin, pretty much normal. At least the heading off to a criminal act part; the door security was new. She takes the bottle and nods to him. "In this weather, how could we be anything but cool?" The bottle is raised in a toast, though she hasn't opened it. "Thanks." That was about being offered a place to stay. "Take care of yourself out there, Max. Be careful you don't get too cold and your brass monkey is rendered inoperable. See ya round."

"Don't be a stranger, Yazmin." Wow, he does remember her name, returning the bottle raise with a little salute of a single finger before hoisting the bag up on his shoulder proper, taking one last look at the trailer she came from, and then heading off and out of court. Zoooooom.

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