Sunday, June 2, 2013
The Next Stop, Los Angeles
I have been to the edge of the twilight zone and it's located in Los Angeles. Stay with me. I currently reside in Anaheim,CA. Mickey Mouse is my neighbor. Every night I hear what appears to be loud gun shots. In reality, it's the firework show from the Disneyland parade. if you go south on Harbor boulevard, just pass the 5 you will see the tip of the Matterhorn ride along with herd of happy tourists flocking to Disneyland with the plastic mouse ears, bratty kids, and about $200 worth of Disney merchandise per family. Some of my neighbors are Disney cast members which fucks up the fantasy for kids who may be wondering why Peter Pan is smoking weed at the bust stop. I'm O.C now but understand this: There is a huge difference between North Orange County and South orange County. North OC is,how can I put it mildly?, more "ghetto". South OC includes NewPort Beach. There you will find old money and old 50 year old guys with 21 year old barbies because "he has a yacht." Not far from there you may run into the Orange County Housewives of Orange county or bros with Affliction T-shirts "hollering at the bitches." Anaheim keeps me humble. I see homeless people daily and hard working people just trying to make it. But since I grew up practically all of my life in Los Angeles, I get an itch every few weeks and a few weeks ago I got the rash. I had to go to L.A to purge my soul. Maybe it's the smog in my lungs but whatever the source, I need to go. It's like Los Angeles and I are in an an abusive relationship and I know I'm going to be disappointed but I hold on to the good memories and I get on the dreaded 5 freeway which connects me to the 101 and me and 1 billion other people get on the same road and I'm off to where Smog meets attitude. I'm off to L.A. I decided to go to L.A on impulse really. I was on a mission to go to see a "curandero" (witch doctor) in the Pico Union area of L.A where Central Americans are deep into that voodoo shit. My goal was to get a good luck candle, or other artifact to give me good luck so that my week would start right at work. I ask my girlfriend if she wants to go with me. She cautiously agrees. Really, I just wanted to leave my apartment. I arrived on Alvarado street across the street from Mac Arthur park. If you ever want to get a visual of where this is just rent Training Day and fast forward to the scene where Denzel Washington confronts Snoop Dog in one of the shopping centers. That's where I arrived.I park and as soon as I walk out, there is a Hispanic man yelling into a megaphone that we sinners are doomed to eternal damnation unless we join his club. The area is always packed and it us filled with local vendors selling shit inside and outside and there are people on the street hustling everything including green cards and fake identification (no joke). Hispanic men will yell out "Micas" "Micas" (slang for green cards). I keep walking north on Alvarado and I look down and I see a man who was missing his lower limbs. He's just squirming like a a caterpillar. I think he was begging for money. I didn't stick around to find out his purpose. A minute later I see two crazy white guys with snakes on their necks and for a small fee, you can pose or take a picture of the snakes. A few steps later I see on the corner a man being detained by the Los Angeles Police Department. I tried to find a witch doctor store but they were all closed so I decided to head back to my car and I was was walking southbound on Alvarado, a young Hispanic guy dashes towards me and then stops all of a sudden. He had missed his bus and looked sad. He slowly approaches me and with a sincere tone asks me if I speak Spanish. I tell him I do. Then he drops this whopper on me: (translated to English) "You really have to be careful with your girl." He continued. "She coughed in my mid section." I couldn't understand what he was saying so I apologized as did my girlfriend. "What the fuck was that about am I in the twilight zone?", I ask my girl. A few moments later we decipher what he was saying. He was blaming my girlfriend for missing the bus because she coughed on his nuts!!! . She never coughed. That should be the Public Service announcement for Schizophrenia. "Help fight Schizophrenia because one coughed nuts is one too many. I thought things couldn't get stranger. I was wrong. As I kept walking towards the car I noticed a few items that were laid out in a blanket that were for sale. I picked up a headband with a light on it. I was considering buying it since I bike at night. "Don't buy it. I bought one here before and it broke the next day and they wouldn't give me the money back. Don't buy it", a chubby Mexican man warned me. Finally, a good Samaritan. "If you want to buy bikes and bike parts, go over there." (He pointed to a building away from the madness of the busy street.) "Let's go check out the store", I tel my girlfriend. I walk towards the white building when I realize that it's a church. There is no bike store. I stop and retrieve towards my parked car. "Oh my God Iz, I think that guy is following you (another guy I didn't even notice). When you stopped walking, he stopped abruptly. That's shady", my girlfriend tells me. Was I intended to be set up for a jack move? (robbery for my un-urban readers). This is the part where I get the fuck out. I get in my car and I keep going North on Alvarado towards Sunset Boulevard. I'm glad to be getting away from the madness. I look to the right and two old men are in a fist fight. It appears that they are fighting over a walker. Perhaps I don't need a good luck charm after all.