Tuesday, May 9, 2000
@ home 2026 hrs
Today began when I awoke from the obligatory weekly ten hour sleeping session. It was already eleven o’clock when I dragged myself out of bed, so I puttered around the house with a thought of food brought on by an ugly gnawing in my stomach — flesh to flesh, body to body, stomach acid to stomach acid. I have this picture in my brain of my stomach eating itself when it gets really, really hungry. A weird kind of internal cannibalization. Anyhow… I put off eating to check my email. How’s that for priorities?
An hour later I had a yearning to watch at least the opening scenes of The Doors again. I pulled myself away from the computer and headed toward the living room. I stopped by the kitchen and cut myself a piece of German chocolate cake. Plopped down on the couch and hit play on the DVD player.
After a shower, more of the film, and more time online, I headed to work at 2:00pm.
I arrived at the main office to the trailer park I work security for to find… nothing. Which is the usual. I clocked in and sat down to delve back into The Quantity Theory of Insanity. Half an hour later one of the maintenance guys, City, came in. We exchanged the usual hellos and opening jokes in a weird hand signal-Spanish-English language and went about our jobs — me reading and him clocking out.
About this time a school bus passed and I went outside to make sure the kids didn’t throw rocks at the houses. After the bus pulls away, I get into the truck (after sticking the magnetic badges on the doors) to do a quick patrol. City comes out and jumps in the truck for a ride to his house.
Halfway down the street at the bank of mailboxes a group of kids, all Hispanic, are loitering around. As I pass, I see two kids with sweat streaming down their faces, rumpled hair and clothing and that pissed off look in their eyes. One can tell they saw me coming from a distance and broke up the fight so as to not get in trouble. I pass them and continue the rest of the way up the street to City’s house. Watching in the driver’s side mirror, I see the fight resume. After City gets out, I pull a quick two-pointer and head back to the scene of the crime where now one larger kid sits on the smaller one.
This time the fight isn’t stopping just for some stinkin’ security guard. I live my dream of above-the-law-policeman and cut across the street, a yard and parking lot and head straight for the three entangled juveniles, stopping just short of running them over and ending the trouble for good while blasting the horn and hitting the emergency blinkers. They immediately break up in true fear for their collective lives when they register the truck barreling toward their heads.
I jump out and get between them asking where they live. Brushing aside attempts to explain themselves, I ask again for their lot numbers. Finally they come clean with the information. I send the the larger kids living closest by home while telling the smaller one who lives on another street to get in the truck. On the way to his house he begins to cry, saying that if I talk to his parents his mom will hit him. Even as much as I think kids nowadays need a good beating every once in a while, I couldn’t bring myself to have the child, who was obviously not the aggressor in this instance, brought to an unpleasant ending. I dropped him off at his door and drove back to the house of the larger kid.
An older woman answered the door and told me to wait. The kid and his mother came to the door where I explained to her that if this happened again they would be evicted, the police department called, and a charge of disturbing the peace filed. She dismissed my lecture with, “I know. I know.” and looks into the distance. Tell me the problem with this kid isn’t his upbringing. Back at the office, I find in their file that they’re consistently late paying rent and water. Surprise, surprise.
I settle back into The Quantity Theory of Insanity until about an hour later a knock at the door by three older kids brings me outside. They start yelling about some crazy white bitch trying to break into their house and assaulting them. I tell them to call the police. What do they want me to do? “You’re security!” [Sidebar: If someone is breaking into your house, do you call the local college-age security guard or the P-O-L-I-C-E? Oh, hmmm… lets add into that equation this, though: Do you call the police if you have a warrant out for your own arrest? Ah, there it is.] I ask them who the lady is, where she lives, and all they tell me is that she drives a blue Firebird.
I had my suspicions as to who the woman might be which finding the blue car proved: The neighborhood crack addict. She comes out with her husband trailing. She’s obviously high on something, red eyes, red face, veins exploding from her temples, yelling at me, talking fast, not willing to listen.
She launches into telling me about how there are undercover police who saw the whole thing and that those boys always break into her house and hassle her and bring over rock and smoke it and she divides it up and they smoke it all and she has to go back out and hustle for more money to buy more and she knows it’s wrong but she does it anyway and she doesn’t want to call the police and she thinks that if we go talk to them and tell them to stay away they will and and and…
I finally convince her husband to call the police about it. And as I’m driving back down the street to the office, I find one of the three boys who first brought the situation to my attention and ask him if they’ve called “the law.” He replies in the affirmative, although I see the fat kid with the arrest warrants isn’t around.
Almost back to the office, I see a large black policeman walking back to his car. I pull over and tell him that the crack addict is really worked up and at which lot he can find the people who called him in.
Back at the office, I crack the wrapper on a cigar I bought from the smoke shop in Ruta Maya while out with Amanda from Arizona yesterday.
At seven o’clock, I leave. Come home to find, to my pleasant surprise, a package from one of my favorite Australians, Leigh, who does a radio show over there, filled with tapes of Australian indie bands. Which I’m listening to right now.
Been an interesting day.