For the past few weeks I’ve been itching to stuff my face with hot dogs and ice cream from the Sonic Drive In. Unfortunately, the closest location is 30 minutes south in Gilroy, a city so opposite of San Jose you might as well be in Texas.
After missing my exit I decided to adventure around and I came across this tagged up house with boarded windows and doors.
In the middle of my shooting, a large truck swung by. It crept closer and closer to my feet when suddenly a voice came out of the driver seat.
You takin’ pictures of my hoodie?
Ranier: Yea! Is that yours?
Ernesto: I put it up there.
R: What for?
E: I found it so I decided to put it on the pole. That way if they came back they could see it. I also put a face on it.
It was eerie; like a scarecrow to ward off humans.
R: Is this your farm? Do you work around here?
E: Not mine.
He pointed to the eyes hidden beneath those furrowed brows and said,
E: I watch for things. I see people, like you.
R: You been working here awhile?
E: 25 years
E: Where do you live?
R: Born and raised in San Jose, you?
E: I live here. See that house? See the small one behind it? I used to live in that one 20 years ago.
R: What’s growing around here?
E: Right there is garlic
R: And across the street?
E: Romaine lettuce
E: Here, I have something (he grabbed a bag from the bag seat and handed me a plump, green zucchini squash)
R: Oh wow! I can have it?
E: Yea! Oh wait, take this one instead. It’s better.
R: How do I cook it?
E: I don’t know, I have someone else do it for me. You just put it on the grill
We shook hands, he left in his truck, and I was left standing on a dirt road with two zucchini squash in my pockets. All I wanted to do was go home, cut the squash, and see how amazing it would taste with melted cheese. I wasn’t craving Sonic anymore.