The Downtown Life


The neighborhood ravens, glued in place by a nearby tasty morsel, try to stare down Aki. Knowing she is tethered by a leash, the birds don’t fly away. Such complacence shows wisdom and, I’d like to think, trust in me. I wonder what makes the ravens’ feather coat so glossy. After we move off Chicken Ridge, they return to their morning meal. They aren’t bothered by the wind that dropped the effective temperature to zero.


Aki isn’t bothered by the wind and cold. She keeps her nose down, leaves her marks, approaches homeless people with expectations of a friendly word, maybe a pat on the head. We mostly pass homeless as we walk through Juneau’s downtown core and up past the capital. They walk, head down, on alert for slick ice, wrapped in hand-me-down winter gear. They don’t acknowledge Aki or I. One carries a thick chunk of driftwood, too short for a walking stick but heavy enough to make a good club. Like a man no longer inhibited by pain, he chooses to walk into a wind that quickens our pace.



1 thought on “The Downtown Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s