I have embarked upon a mission which I will describe soon – for now I feel like letting details rest so I can reexamine them with fresh vigor in the morning. All peaceful here at my abode but past weekend literally made me wonder if US government has started passing out free narcotics in the street.
Everything began innocently enough at a donut shop across town. A large man wandered in, sat down and began eating a jar of olives. “Customer only.. customer only, please..” proprietress called out to him, politely urging him to relinquish his seat since he hadn’t purchased any food inside the establishment. “I gotcha, sister.. I gotcha.. ” the man responded good-naturedly. While rising from table he caught sight of me. “What do you do for a living?” he inquired. For some reason two people at a nearby table also turned to hear my answer. On the spot I glanced at notepad in front of me, sorta gestured with ballpoint pen in hand and stammered: “I’m.. a writer.” The man gazed at me speculatively. We regarded one another. “The Lonely Lady”. he said after a few long moments. “The Lonely Lady.. it’s a really good book. You should read it.” He nodded affirmatively, stared at me harder. I felt myself sigh, knew he was appraising me and that “Lonely Lady” was his accurate assessment. He seemed to relish my discomfiture but we parted amicably. On his way out the door he said “The Loooonely Laady” a few more times as if he enjoyed hearing the words roll off his tongue.
Yet again I missed Andy, my solitary friend in this far corner of Los Angeles County where I reside. No one else lives close enough to simply hit a donut shop with me. I chat with some of my neighbors but don’t know any of them very well. Thinking of Andy I finished my coffee and trudged out the door. For 3 blocks I walked alone and then heard someone running up behind me. Whipping around I recognized a guy I met recently. Happy to see a friendly face I invited him to join me on an errand. We chatted companionably until he said one or two odd things. I looked at him more carefully, noticing something of a wild look in his blue eyes.
As we proceeded down the sidewalk he began accosting passersby with strange accusations. (“I saw you last night. Don’t you remember me? Why are you pretending you don’t know me?”) Then he wanted to change his shirt. As he pulled off one garment and replaced it with another I couldn’t help but notice the dichotomy between his healthy, muscular physique and the clearly drug-induced paranoia in his face. How had his mental faculties deteriorated so rapidly without his body showing any signs of strain? He and I resumed walking til he flopped down on a wide metal post, still convinced that various strangers were involved in some type of conspiracy against him. By now his agitated behavior was attracting attention but I didn’t want to abandon him there. Gamely or lamely I tried to keep him engaged in conversation, hoping he would calm down. A tattoo on his leg looked familiar but I couldn’t place its significance. “What do those two crossed hammers in the circle represent?” I asked him. “Why don’t you sit down on my lap and I’ll tell you about it.” he responded nastily. Although I disliked leaving him to be a spectacle on the street I had to go. For at least half a block he yelled stuff at my retreating figure.
The following morning I visited a nice, safe corporate-run establishment: Subway Sandwiches. Through the window I watched as one homeless man beat another to a bloody pulp. Loser of the battle collapsed in the gutter as his cart of recyclables rolled slowly into oncoming traffic. Soaked from hair to waist in blood he became combative once again when paramedics arrived. Only a proffered cigarette seemed to quell his ire.
On Labor Day I went to the Port of Long Beach to see three gargantuan Hanjin vessels stranded like lost souls in the harbor. Spectacle seemed surreal and, for the first time ever, I honored the Labor Day holiday by actually pondering economic/labor issues. Usually Labor Day just passes by in a blur of barbecue smoke and alcohol. A young man in swim trunks approached me at the coastline. “You look sad.” he said. “Do you need a hug?” He did make me smile.
Anyways, the long weekend has come and gone. Where was Mrs. Hamilton in all this? She always knows what to do..
Looks like Mrs. H drank too much and got herself in trouble. Photos come from upcoming video Vertigo which I am still preparing for release. Hope this post doesn’t come off as a complaining rant – I just felt like expunging the last few days onto my keyboard. All quiet on homefront now. Will return in the morning to answer post comments. Hope everyone is having a great week!
P.S. I reject “Lonely Lady” moniker. Mrs. Hamilton’s alter ego shall ride again 😉
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