He was a kid—he looked barely more than fifteen, and he had the rangy strut of a pro garbage-picker, a Brando without a brain. He started talking to me, and couldn’t stop. It was dim, I am as they say “well-preserved” and despite being old enough to be his mother, he kept on going. He asked me if I was “partying” tonight and if I went to any bars and he even asked me what I had to drink. He spoke of traveling and wanting to get a raft and he showed me the huge assortment of knives in his pocket and told me he had spares in his bag coz he always needs to be equipped and he asked me where I was from and what I thought of buses and light rail trains and he loves grape flavored Four Loco and there were many pauses, but I was kind to the kid—for he was a kid, getting excited when he asked if I had been to Disneyland. Asking me if I liked Eminem! (I politely told him I hadn’t listened to enough Eminem to make up my mind) and his dad is a mechanic and he learned from him how to fix cars and street race and I told him he had a skill to last for life and he described getting into fights and the crack of one guy’s arm in his hands and how he loves Disneyland! And he struck me as a cross between the Rain Man and Huck Finn, this strange rural rap boy with his boy-band face and his need to be a homicidal party machine.
(Read the rest of Huck in Death Confetti: Pickers, Punks, and Transit Ghosts in Portland, Oregon, published by Feral House.)