Monday, March 21, 2005

The Pedestrains



LA was a strange place. that last trip was the first actual visit i've made there. i mean, if you dont count going to disneyland with an old girlfriend or stop over flights at LAX. no, on this trip i think i absorbed a little. i got a taste of what went down in the city. a small taste. but a taste. hotels and rental cars aside, i saw the night. and the morning. and the money. and the game. but this particular scene haunts me.

at a red light there was this little white girl who was about 9 or maybe 10. her face was smudged and sweaty and her hair hadnt been brushed in so long it was practically in dreads. she had a dirty white skirt that flared out like a tutu. a tshirt. and a purple hooded sweater. her father, who i noticed first, was in a pair of filthy white overalls, a sweaty tee, and held a paper bag under his arm. it looked wet at the bottom, like it was gonna break open at any second. in his other hand he had a cigarette and after each inhale from it he would mutter then yell then mutter again. she screamed at him, -Daddy! Come on, lets go! and dragged him a bit until he began to follow. she walked ahead of him quickly to other side of the crosswalk and didnt even look back until she was on the other side where she turned and stared and waited until he made it across. before he did the light turned green and we stepped on the gas.

he muttered all the time. and it drove the little girl crazy. and when he yelled, it would make her scared. every moment was shattered glass, and with a single breath could fall to pieces. crossing the street was the worst, because she could never know if he would make it. the cars in LA ruled the road and pedestrians were sudden obstacles, unfortunate casualties. there was no medications that could make the streetlights safe. at least when they were inside, the only danger was himself. that was a danger she had some control over.

in the rearview mirror he finds his way beside her. she grabs his arm and pulls him down and they sit on the sidewalk side by side. another magical moment on Sunset boulevard.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.