An artist's rendition.

When the days were hard, we played. We poked fun.

From Project: FEMA 1768, Disaster Relief



We walked the streets, back and forth and up and down, circumventing the annoying buzz of tight office space, breathing fume-free air for a day. No bleach for us those days, only small bits of mold exposure during damage inspections, and no cramped space for 10 mentally cramped people.

Tyler and I were office duty that day. The lucky two that were not forced into a 15 passenger van first thing, but sent to the library instead, were the luckiest individuals in all of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin that day. Our brains and bodies were tired and bruised and an afternoon spent soliciting trust from wary dwellers, persuading men and women and children to let us into their mold filled homes for a quick look, sounded like heaven.

Games began quickly, entertaining us through the miles we walked. He drew my picture while taking careful step after step. Never looking down to check his feet, and never looking down to connect the lines of the face he hadn't seen-- no, this was a blind drawing, an artist's rendition with no vision of the masterpiece until it was complete. We had fun doing this, for a while. Then we played a game we called, "Deface the A without actually violating any of the numerous policies we are expected to uphold." It went like this: A car drives by, and at exactly that time Tyler punches me in the arm, hard. I scream and run, and he chases, continuing his physical assault until the game isn't fun anymore because nobody is watching. We walk in silence for a while, or maybe laughing, or maybe sharing stories... until another car goes by, and then I get hit again. Eventually my arm hurt from the beatings I was asking for, and in anticipation I would begin running when I suspected another punch. We stopped when it was too much.

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