Rebecca Has No Tent

Life on twenty pounds of copper a week
Life on twenty pounds of copper a week

After a summer without a sighting, I found Rebecca tonight in the scrubland behind the 405.

A woman was sitting on the Metrolink tracks, lacing up her shoes, bellowing incoherently into the ailanthus: Whag-gle!  Whah-gul!  It took me a moment to realize she was trying to say “White Eagle”. I walked through the bushes in the direction the woman was shouting and found Rebecca dragging her cart across the dirt.

She’d lost a little weight since May.  It hadn’t been going well.    The Valley was pretty well picked for scrap. The battalions of the white favela had seen to that. A weeks work of scrapping net a little over 20 pounds of copper coil. A steady drop in metal prices meant the Raymer street yard was paying $1.60/lb.  Her old man was drinking it away in front of the 7-11 at Roscoe and Sepulveda.  They had been living on Orion for awhile but had recently gotten bounced by local merchants. Before that, The Narrows. Before that, Saticoy.

Someone had stolen her tent while she was at the recyclers.  She had no money for a new one. She was on the move.

For the time being, they were sleeping behind Jack in the Box until they figured it out it.