The first thing you noticed about Spencer was his bat tattoo. You could hardly miss it; it was spread across the top of his chest, with a six-inch wingspan. Another tattoo, of a guitar, decorated his right arm. He had facial hair of several days' growth, and he was wearing a blue baseball cap, on backward in the current adolescent style. He had come to the interview directly from his job as a furniture packer, and he was dressed in work clothes: blue jeans and a light-blue t-shirt. He had an easy smile and an affable way about him. Spencer was living a reckless, chaotic, disordered life -- and loving it. His explanation of how he came to be living in Atlanta is illustrative.
The whole story behind me moving to Atlanta two months ago was that I took my girlfriend to a concert at the Center Stage [a small concert venue in Atlanta]. It ended up with me getting left in Atlanta by my friends and getting fired from the job I'd had in Athens [ Georgia]. Me and my friends wanted to go to that concert in Atlanta. We didn't have a car, so we borrowed this girl's car that one of my friends knew. We had a load of furniture we had to deliver in Alabama the next day, so we were gonna go to the concert, come back [to Athens], get in the truck, and go to Alabama to deliver. Well, on the way down there we started getting real drunk. When we got to the concert, me and my girlfriend started fighting, and we split up, and I tried to get away from her, and I ended up getting lost from my friends. Brian, who was the driver, had to get the furniture so he went ahead and drove back to Athens. On his way back, he got a DUI [arrested for drunk driving], so there went his truck-driving job. I was working for him, so there went my job. The other guy who was with us also worked there and he lost his job, and my girlfriend got in big trouble, so I decided just to stay away from all that and just stay up here for a while.