Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Valley of the Shadow of Death

It is the opposite of a dark and Stormy day.

 Today is one of those L.A. days when it's maddeningly hot and the smog is so thick it burns your eyes and you can feel it caking onto the little hairs in your nose. It weighs down your lungs and the contents of your stomach threatens to come up the wrong way.

 You sit at this bus stop in this city where nobody rides the bus, and realize why. You've been passed by no less than three express buses and the only #14 to come by in the past half hour just blew past you without even hesitating as if you weren't there at all. Some crackhead has abandoned his ill-gotten, overflowing shopping cart with god-knows-what in it, but the sun is baking it and the stench has reached your nose and is now mingling with the caked smog.
 Finally another bus. Amazingly it's stopping for you. You climb aboard and begin to dig for your change to pay your fare in silence, wishing to be left alone. But the bus driver wants to chat. You know that if you had been anyone else he wouldn't have given you the time of day, but you're a young, attractive girl and young, attractive girls aren't allowed to just be left alone. This bothers you, but you're friendly and smile because somewhere in your mind you know it's not his fault. 
 You take your seat away from everyone else and pull out your notebook and begin to right down the day when the Hassid three seats down moves closer to you. He smiles his bearded, yellow toothed smile and begins speaking to you in hebrew. This has happened to you before. He's seen the hebrew tattoo on the inside of your wrist and assumes you're from the homeland.  You politely tell him you don't speak hebrew and continue writing, hoping that he'll leave it at that, seeing that you are obviously engrossed in what you're doing. 

 He doesn't. As you knew he wouldn't. You struggle to understand him as he struggles to make himself understood but you have to ask him to repeat every line at least three times. Since your skin is brown and your not Israeli he assumes you must be Mexican. This poor old hassid is so lost in his over the top religious world where if you aren't one thing, you must be another. 
 You step off the bus and dread the mile long walk home. You could take another bus, but this is L.A. so they don't have bus to bus transfers so it would cost yet another $1.25 on top of the $5 you've already spent on the days travel. You could have bought yourself a delicious burrito with that money, which reminds you of the tired, old beans and rice you have waiting for you in the fridge at home.

 You walk down Santa Monica, chin high and eyes straight ahead with confidence in your step as a lifetime of city living has taught you to do. 

 You pass a car of young boys parked at a meter. They call out to you but you act as though you hadn't heard a thing, as, once again, a lifetime of living in the city (and being a pretty girl) has taught you to do. 

 However, as you pass, one of those little shits says,"I like your tits". How extraordinarily original. The fact that you have great tits doesn't give this little dickweed the license to disrespect you. And before you've even thought about what you'll do, you've turned around and walked back to the car. The windows are all down so you place your hand in them and lean into the car. The boys are now looking off in another direction so they're surprised to hear your voice so close when you say, 
"What did you just say to me?" 

 The look on the kid's face says he's never been confronted like this before. Never had a real woman that wasn't his mother look him dead in the eye and confront him on his childish stupidity. 
 "I didn't...", he stammers.

 You hold his eyes in a stone cold glare for a few seconds. You don't yell, you don't curse, you don't act crazy. You simply say, 
 "Don't be disrespectful", and walk away without another word and without looking back. 

*The first photo is compliments of google, but the second is one of mine.


  1. I love that that kid probably shit his pants seeing that you went back to say something to him. Amazing...

  2. so, i just jumped over here from seeing you on petunia face and i was so taken with you after reading this post!
    first of all, i live in la and i am terrified of public transportation.
    it's irrational, really, but it's been there all my life.
    and the fact that you turned back around???
    i want to high five you. (and i'm not even a fan of the high-five.)

  3. Freaking Awesome.

    I love you.