An Alameda Thanksgiving 2015

My first few weeks in Alameda found me residing in a company owned travel trailer beneath an enormous steel roof in an industrial storage yard on the west side of an old navy base. The Alameda Naval Base closed in the 1990′s leaving behind a distopian grid of empty streets and oversized concrete industrial buildings. Like weeds springing from broken concrete an eclectic collection of businesses have taken hold in a few of the gymnasium sized buildings. Countless others stand dark with shattered windows and peeling paint.
Around 430 every morning a lone stake bed truck would rattle and roll into our company yard clanging and banging. Loudly shouting in an unidentifiable dialect, the sole occupant exited and commenced beating an empty oil barrel with a steel rod.The ringing percussions created a hellish harmonic pulsing down from the steel roof through my spaceship thin aluminum trailer walls straight into my ice cold ear drums.
The expletive screaming visitor would relentlessly continue the tortue for about 5 minutes and then after screaming one last blast, he would get back into the truck, slam the door and leave the compound. So this was my wakeup call for weeks but I could only laugh in reflection. I concluded that my life wasn’t that bad afterall. True I was living far away from home in an old trailer beneath a large steel roof but as best as I could recall I had never felt the need to beat an empty steel barrel while swearing into the predawn sky. Obviously this poor soles wife and children had driven him into a place far worse than I had found myself. I laughed again thinking how lucky I was to have a family who had not allowed me to devolve to such a state. Yet…
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