“And then I was like, boom! What’s good brotha?!” A shirtless man jumps in front of his cigarette smoking group of friends, giving his heavily tattooed chest a pound with his fist. His friends seemingly ignore him, so the shirtless man pulls his hooded sweatshirt back on and lights a cigarette.
The air has a distinct mixed scent of cigarette smoke, pine needles, and barbeque wafting down the street from the grill at the “Pippin’ Hot Dogs” cart that sits beneath two bright red and yellow umbrellas.
It’s another ordinary and gloomy Monday afternoon in downtown Eugene, but the unusual absence of rain has left the streets more alive than usual for a winter day. A group of nine people, probably between the ages of 19-25 crowd around several benches chain smoking.
Their conversation is muffled behind the sounds of traffic driving by and the loud spraying water from the wide fountain across the square from where they stand. Occasionally the dominating group member’s voice bellows out above the ambient sound behind him. His attire is intriguing. Black felt pants, a tweed brown vest and a matching felt hat with a braided band encircling its rim. Perhaps the most striking are the thick rimmed glasses with bright yellow glass screaming Eugene’s name.
“And then I got sheriff’s at my door bein like get the fuck out, and I’m like aw hell no,” says Yellow Glasses. “And then this guy was coming at me and I was like aw hell no and hittin the elevator’s close button. I was blowin it up!”
“Aw hell man that shit’s fucked up!” says Yellow Glasses’s friend, chest pounding tattoo guy.
“Yeah man, and then I was all like, I love you!”
It is a perplexing conversation, and unfortunately one without an audible resolution.
A bearded man across the square sits alone on a bench hunched over a book, until a red haired woman with a stroller joins him. The pair starts conversing and it is clear that the child is most likely his own, as the bearded man picks him up and feeds him. The couple continues talking until a member of the group across the square yells profanities at his friends and they turn to watch the group in what appears to be mild bewilderment.
“Pssshu! I’m a wand wizard!” says Yellow Glasses to his friends who watch as he waves his hand in an circular motion and casts an apparent spell on his tattooed friend.
An overweight member of the group proceeds to chug without restraint from his liter of Mt. Dew.
An assortment of Eugene civilians walk through the square, including several people in business attire, a man with a bull-ring nose piercing and a t-shirt with an obscene image of a nude man screened onto the front of it, and a college-aged student walking to class. Only a man in a bright yellow University of Oregon sweatshirt stops in the square to sit on a bench and smoke a cigarette.
A member of the group takes a phone call and paces back and forth until Yellow Glasses yells, “Where’s my money dad?” in which the phone man responds, “Where’s my money son?” He returns to his phone call.
Yellow Glasses stands from his seat on a bench and begins performing a series of squats in front of his friend and yells back at the friend on the phone, “Where’s my weed dad?”
He is ignored.