Friday, May 16, 2008

leaving south central

The gig is up.

I have three days of work left in south central los angeles. They're sending me to patrol the beaches instead.

They asked me where I wanted to go next. I told them, Watts, another division right next to Watts, or else as close to downtown L.A. as possible where there are still some really crazy gangs, like mara salvachrucha or something.

Of course they send me to Venice beach.

Those mother fuckers.

Now I'm gonna have to change the side bar to my blog. Who wants to hear from a blogger who works as a police officer on a beach? Yeah, so, today I gave another ticket to someone for drinking alcohol in a public place. It was crazy. I almost had to raise my voice at one point. Dumb. That's a dumb story. I'll probably have to start writing traffic tickets too and arresting people for marijuana.


I guess it could be worse though. I guess they could read this blog post, whoever "they" is, and decide to just fire me.

I'll make it back to south central again eventually. But I'm sad to be leaving.

buried in narrative

It wasn't long ago that I felt like I understood. I could read books without becoming claustrophobic from the invisible encroaching sense of longing and separation that I now feel in the whiteness between their lines, a white static I presumed to be silence because I was never abandoned to it before. But suddenly it becomes meaningful and dynamic and encompassing: the flesh on the bone, or maybe more appropriately: the breath in dirt and stone.

As long as we take for granted the static as silence, as long as we assume the bones of literature, the words, the plot, are the only substance, we can remain afloat, remain in control, relegating our experience to our heads, starving our experiences of breast milk so that they remain more abstraction than experience, relegated to our heads, remain relegated to our understanding heads.

But begin to give the dirt and stone breath, and see how quickly everything will go a muck and out of control. How quickly sin will enter in. How quickly all the colors will blur and smear. Everything still floats about in beautiful forms, or sacred or precious, but a temporal fuck of an aching mess nonetheless.

My head can no longer keep up with pain. Much less can I understand or appreciate the precious gift of joy. I see more outrageous things in a week than I can recount. I hear more unbelievable stories than I can straighten out. I can not keep up with these things. I can not predict which impulse will come next, what turn in the great narrative will be right, how the crazy people came to their craziness, how the financially irresponsible ever made it this far, why the joke teller is sad today or why the contemplative is giggiling.

I can not find it in me to condemn a single thing. I judge nothing. Or else I judge everything, and condemn everyone.

I have rejected God. I do not know how to accept Him. It is one thing to say, it is not up to us, God gives us his salvation, it is not up to us. It is another thing to enter into communion. All day long I concern myself with the directions of my life. I am torn between driving a hybrid or driving a six cylinder Lexus. I am torn between lust and purity. I am torn between aloneness and alienation.

It is easier to make money in stocks, easier to buy real estate, easier to find a good job and have success, easier to listen to all the recent good music, read the Atlantic Monthly, go out and see the hustle and wonder of Los Angeles, easier to calculate and execute in a hundred ways... and so, I do. It is impossible though, to pray.

Let's go drink a pint together and joke around.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

the fear of little Chinese real estate investing men

About two blocks away from my apartment there's a house on a corner that I'd like to buy. A house, and then a 4-plex behind it, all on one property. Only one of the four possible directions you can take from my apartment leads to a neighborhood safe to live in. But what this house on the corner lacks for in safety it makes up for with the convenience of living fifty feet from a liquor store.

And not every cop can say they bought a property to live in with a bullet hole in one of the windows... oh, and with one other window busted out from a recent burglary... and... well I got the feeling that the people in the front house, the people I would have to kick out if I were to live there, the people who have lived there for fifteen years, are very connected to the street... and know plenty of young Hispanic men who do lots of weight lifting and have tattoos on their faces and who would love to visit me if in fact I did kick them out of the house. I was quite literally scared of them. I own guns and work in a place where it's not unheard of for people to walk non-chalantly up to anyone wearing the uniform I wear and shoot them... and I was scared. I can't imagine how the little Chinese real estate investing men must feel when they come to look at the house and see the sort of tenants that inhabit the place.

It's not hard to understand how gangs run neighborhoods. If mean looking guys hang out on porches long enough watching anyone who comes along their streets, it's not long before those guys can subtly suggest things to the people around there and expect that no one will disappoint them. They're good at intimidation.

But what the hell. If I can get the financing, I guess I'll still buy the place and kick out the tenants. It could be fun to get into a gang war... or rather a gang vs. one white guy war. I'll eventually lose if it comes to that. Eventually they'll drive by and shoot at me and I'll move out. Still, I bet I'll get some good stories to blog about before it comes to that.