Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Brush with The Stony Lonesome

Sometimes we get so caught up in our regular day-to-day that we forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. We wallow, at least I've caught myself doing it from time to time...3/4 of today was like that for me but sometimes life throws you softballs and, if you're lucky, you'll pick up on it....

I was in a real mental shitty today...my "day joy" was everything I didn't want it to be and more. And during my commute home from work, it took an extra hour to get to the shack because all of the Metrobuses were packed to the rafters with straphangers doing exactly what I was trying to do only they'd gotten onboard before my stop -- in L.A., many MTA drivers will just shoot right on by you if they think they're filled to capacity. The latter seems, if you'd ever gotten on an empty #720 at Pershing Square Station on the way to West L.A. in the morning only to be packed into a scenario not unlike that of a transcontinental BFP cattle car, to contravene any well-laid plan of maintaining public safety...Soon you learn that some drivers pay attention to how many motherfuckers are getting on/ off their coach and some just don't and that's word, yo. In the wake of such a shizzle-filled workday, I acquieced and gave in to the powers that are, nee, accepted the fact that my trip back to the pad would take longer than normal -- so I shot into a convenience store on La Cienega, bought a 22 oz. bottle of Heineken and waited. After taking a couple of hits, I waited some more -- lighting a couple of Parliaments in the interim. Eventually, a moderately filled #33 eased on down Venice Blvd, I got on it and an hour later I was downtown at Union Station. Since my train wasn't due for another 20 minutes, I hung out by the outside door near the Amtrak kiosk and smoked another Parli while polishing off the remainder of my Heineken. Just as I was about to kill my butt and walk on toward my subway platform, a black guy and a white guy walked out -- both sporting white jumpsuits with stenciled numbers on the pockets and yellow borders on the collars and sleeves. The white boy walked up to me and asked if I had a cigarette to which I replied, not fully absorbing what his attire implicated, "You got a quarter, yo?" His homepiece, who'd already shot past me in a flurry, yelled back: "look out for him, he's my nigga. We just got out!" It was then that it all came together in my mind and I got the zap on my dome -- Union Station's just a couple of blocks over from the windowless human holding pen known as Downtown County Jail. After checking out the jailhouse tatts that adorned brother-mean's arms I looked at him and apologized. "Sorry, dude. I was trippin', take the pack and keep your ass outside, son." "I'm damn sure going to try," he replied while lighting up and walking off into the L.A. night. It's easy to get caught up in the bullshit of the everyday, the desert of your reality but it's always cool to be slapped up in the facial space with some real hurt to put your shite into perspective -- there are a grip of people going through some thick shite on the regular and it trumps whatever you're dealing with. Suffice to say, tThe cock-ups that occurred during my day at work paled in comparison to whatever hell those two men had been through during their stay at the greybar hotel... I can only imagine...


Note: Pictured above is a view of a cell in South Africa's notorious Robben Island...like the one that Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela was held captive in for so many years before Aparthied fell and he finally got his chance to be the man he was destined to be...maybe one of those guys I met in the train station will make lemonade out of the lemons they've gotten in life...maybe not...I like the lemonade scenario better, though -- I hope they both stay out forever...laters...

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