Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Census Day: Population Me Plus Zombies

It's 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, and it's Census Day in Argentina. What that means is everything is closed. Even supermarkets. People are supposed to stay home and get counted.

It's probably the quietest I've ever heard the city while the sun was up. The streets are dead as dead. Along my 20 block walk to the studio I half expect/hope to see caribou meandering through the streets, and zombies huddled in the shadowy recesses of vacant buildings, both the possible after effects of some kind of a post-apocalyptic plague à la I Am Legend. Census? Pfff. With five days to go before Halloween this seems like a more plausible reason for the quiet.

As my imagination and I drift further from home I conclude that I am most likely the only survivor in the city. In keeping with the plot of an overly written dime-store novel, it is no coincidence that my studio happens to be located above a bar called The Alamo, or that on Census Day the population of this metropolis has dropped to one. My daily objective has become making it to the studio, where art supplies and Molotov cocktails are fully stocked. It is there that I paint as much as I can, and then return home before the sun sets and the undead lurk the streets.

Each day around lunch I break from the brushes to broadcast this message from the roof on all AM frequencies:

It is Day 844.
I am a survivor living in Buenos Aires.
I will be at The Alamo Bar in Recoleta every day at mid-day...
...when the sun is highest in the sky.
If you are out there...
If anyone is out there...
I can provide food.
I can provide art to look at.
I can provide alcohol.
I can provide shelter.
Mi español es horrible.
If there's anybody out there...
You are not alone.

Currently Listening To:
Song: Night Terror (listen)
Artist: Laura Marling (myspace)


a Broad said...

There were actually 3 people in Plaza Francia ... and one Pup. The 3rd was lying on a bench .. it was wonderfully quiet but of course, we all had to get up and be ready in case the doorbell rang at 8 am ...

I liked my census taker.. he was cool :)

Jimmy Danko said... was a pretty strange day, especially when you throw in the fact of that the president's husband died.

Dave said...

Sounds like a cool way to take the census. The US could learn a thing or two from Argentina

Jimmy Danko said...

It's also mandatory to vote here which I find an interesting concept.