After the Leaves Fall.

My neighborhood sits comfortably on the 1100 block of Hazel Street. A tree-lined street, this area is just far enough from campus to escape the noise and activities that are included in the weekend nights of downtown Chico.

With a peaceful atmosphere, the neighborhood serves as a neutral zone between the college parties down one way and the families of Chico down the other. Most living in the area are of the college age and the proximity to things seems ideal. Bicyclists can often be spotted, while cars roaming the streets are less common.

The pastel-colored houses are diverse, some run-down and beaten, while others stand fresh and tall against the backdrop of trees. These trees are a main element of the area, sprouting from every front yard and weaving high above. The branches serve as an over-head blanket for the neighborhood and now that winter has stolen all of the leaves, the blanket has holes.

Capturing Conversation.

1. A conversation between two people on the bus.

Driver: “I heard Reggie’s living with you now?”

Boy: “Yeah, he’s been there a while.”

Driver: “I’ve known him for a couple years now. I used to pick him up on Route 5 — no, Route 10.”

Boy: “I’ve known him for about a year.”

Driver: “Is he a good roommate?”

Boy: “Well, he used to be. But he has allergies so he’s always complaining, ‘It’s too hot in here! It’s too cold in here!'”

Driver: (laughs) “Oh yeah? That’s rough.”

Boy: “You didn’t hear it from me.”

Driver: “He was just on the bus the other day talking about living with you guys.”

Boy: “Is there an off button on your walkie-talkie thing?”

  • I sat a few rows behind the boy and the bus driver. The boy sat in the very first row closest to the driver and bounced around between the two seats in his row. The boy accepted a snack of a bag of chips from the bus driver. The bus driver was very talkative and friendly and the boy did not seem shy whatsoever.
  • It was obvious the two knew each other. The African-American bus driver wore the average blue uniform and hat while the blonde boy about the age of ten carried a backpack and wore a forest green hoodie over a grey t-shirt. His hair was long and fell into his eyes.
  • At 4:15pm on Thursday March 3, 2011 on the #4 B-Line bus.\

2. A conversation between two people at the bus stop.

“Well, let’s think about it. World War I – Germany. World War 2 – Germany. But I doubt it’s gonna be Germany again.”

“They’d have to get into a place of power and then they can buy land from a country.”

“And make it like, good.”

“Yeah, I don’t know. There’s American civilians that could….buy land.”

“But California’s a really expensive place to actually make it a sovereign nation.”

“So Bill Gates could probably do it.”

“People with money want more and more and more.”

“Right, that’s the problem.”

“I honestly think that if the economy’s failing, it’s actually a constitutional right — the government can’t interfere.”

“Laissez faire.”

  • I was sitting on the seat closest to the two boys when they sat down next to each other and continued their conversation. One wore headphones and pulled out an iPad to play with while holding the conversation. The other chewed on the strings of his sweatshirt.
  • Both boys were around 16 years old with shaggy brown hair. One wore a backwards black hat that said Blaze1 on it and had facial hair. The other wore a bright green sweatshirt with the hood up and a baby face. Both were caucasian, wearing jeans and Nikes. The one wearing the hat was playing with an iPad throughout the conversation.
  • Around 4:45pm on Thursday March 3, 2011 at the Chico Transit Center bus stop on Second and Normal.

3. A one-sided conversation on a cell phone.
“Yeah, they say, ‘But we needed the money!’ and I said, ‘Bullshit, no, you don’t, you have money.'”

“They need to find their own.”

“That’s what I said.”

(Laughs) “Yes, we do.”

“They know that they actually do.”

“I’m actually going to change my PIN number, yeah, I’m gonna change my PIN number.

“No, I’m not.”

“And I’m also changing bank accounts, ’cause they know my bank account number.”

“Yeah, ’cause when I opened up my bank, they would know when I opened it.”

“Because they needed a co-signer because I was under the age of 18.”

  • The woman was sitting on a bench at the bus stop while I leaned on a post nearby. She rummaged through her backpack and looked at her fingernails often throughout the conversation.
  • The woman looked a little older but based on the conversation, it can be assumed that she is in her early twenties or so. She had very short brown hair cut to her ears with a plain, blue baseball cap on top. Her t-shirt was purple and she had a backpack at her feet.
  • At 4p.m. on Thursday March 3, 2011 at the Chico Transit Center bus stop on Second and Normal.