Klaus Weber, Curb House Numberer

Michael Martone


Around here there are no blocks as such, just cul-de-sacs and circles and dead ends and half streets and alleys. The numbers make no sense. And some of the numbers have fractions and some have letters attached as an afterthought and some have all three—numbers and fractions and letters. And the letters are upper case and lower case. The lady who lives in 2A is all the time taking mail over to 29 and vice versa. The mail trucks wander around looking for the number that might be a number. There's no rhyme or reason to it. I do use stencils so most of the job is taping the cutout paper to the curb. Then I just fill up the spaces with the aluminum paint. It glows in the light. When I finish there is this sparkling drift stuck in the gutter. And then I move on to the next house leaving the last one's number to dry. Often I am just guessing at the next number. It makes no sense as I said. Later, much later, I return to peel the stencils from the curb. Sitting there in the gutter I can't help myself. I do some weeding along the edges of the anonymous lawns. Ground mint and multi-flora rose and mimosa and crab grass. Weeds look like weeds. And they are everywhere.