Place No Place
More Light No More
A new restaurant, well, less of a restaurant more of a coffee shop, but they serve food. Everything is new, plastic, modern, minimalist, everything is white. Exposed nuts, and bolts. It doesn’t match the neighborhood that it was blitzkrieged into. The employees nice and aloof. Customers? Don’t know, don’t care. Countertops, floors, furniture, and dinnerware are spotless, no stains, no scratches. One year later, marks, scuffs, divots permanent damage on purpose, on accident, from use, and from the lack of deep cleaning. The result of thinking what it will look like brand new, not when it is aged with time.
I write to you to let you know that everything I say, I mean. Centuries, decades, years, months, hours, minutes, seconds go by without it being opposite days. Perceived time is not like light, happening all at once. My mind does not consist of numerous memories and future daydreams. I don’t recollect on visions of my childhood toys, smiling faces, light beams through clouds, windy tree limbs, the things in between cracks, floating bodies of water. Everything remembered in the past does not look like a home movie. I do get upset if you call a digital movie a film.
The regular is sitting alone at the bar in the later part of a Friday evening. It’s getting louder as time goes on
with more people arriving, and with the night shifts music playlist taking over. A couple sitting next to the regular
is overheard intermittently through conversations, music, and noise.
Zac Brown Band “Chicken Fried” plays in the background
He: So what is Ruby Ridge all about?
She: Well this guy was like living off the grid with his family and the federal government came after him for selling guns to a, um, like a neo-nazi that was an undercover agent. He failed to show up to court for the gun charges, because they couldn’t contact him, and he didn’t trust the letters he was getting. They, um, ended up going after his cabin with a warrant to arrest him. They shot at each other, and the government agents killed his wife and son.
He: Woah okay, so the feds like messed up?
She: Yeah, I don’t know like he wasn’t doing anything wrong, well I guess he hated the government, and his neighbors, and had illegal guns and was probably a racist. I don’t know maybe they twisted the story to make him look bad, so the government doesn’t look bad.
Luke Combs “Beer Never Broke My Heart” plays in the background
He: Is this the same as the Unabomber?
She: Kind of yeah. The Unabomber was doing what the Ruby Ridge guy was doing but he ended up killing people on purpose as a statement. Waco happened like 6 months after Ruby Ridge, then the Oklahoma City bombing, and then the Unabomber.
He: Something must have been in the air. So it’s not a great idea to want to be some survivalist hermit?
She: Well it’s strange that the government has attempts to stop people from living that lifestyle. Lack of control over the population, I don’t know. Almost impossible to be really off the grid these days.
He: I think I could live off the grid.
She: No, you couldn’t you like the internet and 7-11 too much.
Henry MacDiarmid lives and works in Reno, Nevada. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography in 2018 from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at the Holland Project in Reno from 2015 on. He helped organize and curate for the Reno gallery, window mine from 2020 through 2022.