Restricted Section

We’ve looked a hundred times!

Not in the Restricted Section.

Today the Scarab and I decided to try and make paper. The last time I made paper was back in my heady college days, and I vaguely remembered a process involving soaking paper in tubs of water and hurling wads of sodden paper products at each other. I was game for the adventure, which began with a quick field trip into a contaminated area, part of the land being evaluated for environmental toxins. The boys needed a fixture for the toilet and we needed screens to make our paper on.

contaminated housing on treasure island

The Restricted Section, as I like to call it, is a very odd place. Many of the homes are actually pristine, and in better shape than ours. Some have been thoroughly scavenged for assorted things—not just by tenants, but by the leasing agency itself.

This is the area over by 13th Street, which is actually surrounded by usable housing. Sometimes it’s not clear where the delineation between toxic and safe lies.

contaminated housing on treasure island

Peering through a fence to see if a house was enterable and not being occupied by squatters, we noticed this dog. He seemed amiable from a distance, but it’s likely that he’s being kept for illegal fighting and therefore was probably not approachable. We drifted on.

used condom wappers

Lots of used condoms, and wrappers, everywhere.

Woah! More condoms! I said. Do people not have, like beds?

Oh, come on, can’t you see the allure?

Um…no…I’d be too afraid of getting glass or asbestos or…SARS up my cooch.

papers from 1993

The same house had a small pile of papers, all from 1993, which must be when they closed that section of the base housing. The floor was covered in broken glass, too.

contaminated housing on treasure island

This house’s staircase is way cooler than ours. I seethe with jealousy.

Tomorrow: papermaking, part the first.

[Treasure Island]