Sunday, September 05, 2010


i work in a pretty bad neighborhood. i always scootch down in my seat & turn my rings around before i go through the city. this is no shit & i'm not being a wussy here. remember the big riot ordeal from the first part of 2001? they were rocking vans at stop lights & beating the shit out of strangers for the pure fun of it. not to mention all the store looting & shootings that were going on. that was right in the heart of where i work. as a matter of fact i can't tell you how many times i drove through that area wondering if i would be pulled from my car. i saw gangs of people running through the streets & they weren't friendly. some carrying bats, tire irons & bricks & that was just what i could see. god only knows what they had hidden. one day i was stopped at a stop sign when one of those groups ran right across the street in front of me. the last half of them actually stopped & looked dead at me before the person leading them called for them to come on. i nearly shit myself that day & wondered if i should continue to come to work until this was over. eventually it did calm down although the people in the area still hold a grudge. i know this too because one day my coworker, a black chic, needed a ride to a store a few blocks away & i offered to take her. while she ran in the store i waited in the car & one of the guys standing there looked at me & said 'i could shoot you'. i just looked away & prayed he decided against that but i never stopped at that store again & from then on before i took her anywhere i asked what kind of neighborhood she would have me in not to mention the places i went in with her instead of waiting in the car. so the people i work with was all really surprised at me friday when i got to work. i told them i picked up a chic on my way home the day before. i was stopped at a intersection waiting for traffic when this chic stopped at the corner to cross right in front of me. i motioned for her to go on but she said 'naw, you can go ahead'. i kinda giggled & told her i couldn't because of the traffic. she said, 'shit, then can you give me a lift'? 'where to'? she told me she just lived up the street which i knew was only 2 blocks long & dead ended into a one way street so i told her sure. she hopped in & proceeded to explain she had asthma & only had to walk a few blocks but was having trouble breathing. i agreed this wasn't the best weather to be out in with any kind of lung disease. she kinda checked me out & noticed i had cigarettes laying on my dashboard so she asked if she could have one. i gave her one & introduced myself. i mean if i'm sharing she might as well know who she's bumming off of. she told me her name was kiki but everyone called her star. by that time we were at her house. an apartment building on the far corner. she said she lived right there in number 8.
'you could stop by if you wanted but don't bring any strangers'.
'thanks, i might take you up on that'.
'do you get high', she asked.
'no, i get drug tested'.
'got an money'?
'maybe a quarter, i don't carry money on me'.
'can i get another cig'?

i gave her the pack.
'you're nice lindy, we could be friends'. and we said our goodbyes.

i killed a roach crawling up her seat in the next block. nope, that friend thing ain't gonna work for me.

Driving Ms. Lindy

i pulled up to the light & a little red car came up next to me on my right. the woman was mouthing something so i rolled my window down on that side. she said, 'i just wanted to commend you on your driving etiquette'. i asked ' is that sarcasm? what did i do?' she said 'no, seriously, i've lived in this area all my life & nobody ever uses turn signals. i've been behind you for about 10 blocks & noticed you use turn signals at every corner & even when you just wanted to change lanes. its nice to know that some people still use courtesy when driving'. 'well, thank you. my husband always tells me i'm the nicest driver on the road too'.
the light changed & i started to pull forward: when she pulled right in front of me from the right turn lane AND she didn't use her turn signal to do it!
while i'm on the subject of my drive home. one of the streets i drive on my way to work is called 'chapel'. this street has a few nursing homes, a childrens home, a school, a store & a church. everyday on my way to work theres a van that parks on the side of the street & about a dozen people pour out of it. i'm assuming they're there to visit someone in the nursing home although i can't swear to it cos they park right in the middle between the nursing home & the childrens home. everyday its the same thing. in the afternoon when i come back through there is trash everywhere in that vicinty. (you'd think someone would put a garbage can right there). sometimes the people would still be there dancing, laughing, hugging or chatting. theres also a bunch of milk crates from the corner store turned upside down sitting everywhere. this has been going on everyday for the 11 years i've worked in the city. for the last 2 weeks that van hasn't been there. i'm also assuming here that this is a bad omen. i think someone died. whether its the person they visited in the home or the person driving the van i'm not sure. something has changed for that family. i've wondered alot about that family for years now. i think i miss them. makes me wish i had stopped at some point & gotten to know them. i know that sounds kind of strange but i'm a softie. i've caught myself praying for that family. i hope whatever happened it wasn't unexpected or devastating. i hope it was the easy passing of an elderly person that had a long happy life with lots of wonderful memories. i know the memories i have of them all standing around dancing & laughing is something, i'll never forget. i only hope that when i get old (assuming i live to be old) my family wants to come see me & laugh with me until i pass like that family did for whomever they visited. if i can still blog i'm gonna let you know how that turns out.