Written on 7/10, posted today so as not to spoil the surprise.
Today I was faced with the task of walking to Target and Walgreens to get the heating pad and painkillers my free-clinic doctor prescribed. They’re almost two miles each way, and if I took a bus, the trip would still be a mile each way. Ah, I don’t care. I need the exercise.
A Chinese pharmacist with too much coffee in his system filled my prescription in two seconds and blurted, “Take it with food” as he pushed the bag across the counter. I love going to places right when they open.
Then I went to Target. It wasn’t a food-Target though, so it wasn’t that cool. It wasn’t a pharmacy-Target either, so maybe it should rot in Hell.
And then I went to Subway, where several workers were joking around behind the counter in Spanglish. The one who made my sandwich seemed friendly enough, so when we got to the register, I made obnoxious conversation.
Me: “Hey, can I ask you a personal question?”
Me: “How old are you?”
Me: “Awesome. My friend is about your age and I just got him this.”
I set down one of my bags and unwrapped it to reveal a foot-tall Megatron action figure.
Me: “Is this cool? Do you think he’ll like it?”
He: “It’s pretty cool. If he’s into that stuff he’ll like it.”
Me: “Yeah, I like how you can press his shield and he says stuff.” (I demonstrate.)
Megatron: “REMEMBER ME? I AM MEGATRON!”
Me: “I just hope it’s not too immature.”
He: “Nah, if he likes Transformers, he’ll like it… So are you heading to work after this?”
Me: “No, I don’t work. I just walk around and buy shit.”
He: “In the ghetto?”
He handed over my sandwich and we exchanged good-byes. As I pulled out my headphones and trotted down the mile-long thoroughfare of used car dealerships, I thought, Really? THIS is considered the ghetto? California IS great!
It was hardly the run-down hellhole of North Baton Rouge (or just about anywhere in Baton Rouge), which I’ve had the pleasure of touring. Thankfully, I was in a car, since you have to get on the highway to go everywhere in that shithole city. Nor is it the steaming pile of dog crap that is every other block in New Orleans. Nor did it inspire the desolate fear that parts of New York and Chicago could in even the toughest-minded individual.
Yep, it is quite nice here in Californ-nyuh-nyuh. Someone oughtta recognize.