Friday, January 30, 2009

Gentrification

It's sad when you don't know the actual reference something is making in a show and when you try to reference the original, you have to refer to the source you saw that is based on something else. Case in point: that episode of The Simpsons where the family gets a pool but Bart breaks his leg and is forced to spend summer vacation in his room with a cast. In his isolation, he becomes neurotic and thinks he sees Flanders killing his wife. It's based on an old movie I can't remember what it's called. Anyway, I can't help but think my life feels like it's become a hybrid of that and Death Wish 3.

I sit in my apartment all day long, spying on the world around me. Becoming slightly agoraphobic, but more than anything, my imagination goes on a wild goose chase. Every tenant around me who gets evicted or homes that foreclose, I peer through my blinds to see who the new prospective dwellers may be. Currently I watch who has been looking at the house across the street, but know that no one decent will ever move in as the apartment complexes behind it are swarming with scum. Not to mention the fence in the front yard is all tagged up. I don't know about you, but I would never live somewhere that had tagging. That's a blatant clue to someone trying to claim territory, like a dog pissing on a wall, it's his and he will fight for it.

There are fairly new residents in an apartment complex at the end of the alley. They have become my new show. I watch the illegal activities that occur there constantly. I'm convinced they have tried to steal from us in the past. One of the guys has one of those mini bikes, you know, the little motorcycles that look like they're made for a 4 year old or midget? Well, the one guy rides around on it in the alley constantly. He's stopped in front of our place during the day with the engine idling but not doing anything, just casing the place. I think he knows the girl downstairs is never around and is trying to figure out how to get in to her building from the window where her swamp cooler sits. He has cruised down at night as well at suspicious hours, like after 10:00PM doing the same thing, with his lights off. There's a lot of drug activity with them as well. I don't know if he sells or buys. I just know there's a lot of different people who visit him for 2 minutes in his parking lot or in the alley and leave.

The Bronson in me tries to figure out ways to booby trap these people to clean up the neighborhood. Maybe put secret spike traps that will flatten their tires in the alleyway. Or set up a secret flashlight that can be remotely activated to shine in their area like a cop light to scare them away. I don't know.

Some days I feel like we have nicer people moving in who will bring some potential to the neighborhood. But they all seem to go to the brick building across the way from us.

Other days, I feel like we get rid of scum like blaring rap kid for new scum, like Randy. I missed out on this one, but I was coming home from the store one day and Jesse told me there was a cop car across the street at one of the scuzzy apartments. Then he hears someone saying, "Come on out Randy, we know you're in there" or something along those lines. Cops pounding on the door saying if he doesn't let them in they will kick the door down or something. Funniest thing he's ever seen in his life. Then the same building I come home one Thursday afternoon to some girl and her friend on the porch at "Randy's" place yelling that he is a "FUCKING ASSHOLE!" in a teary voice. What was that about?

I think the guys down at the other end of the alley may be on to me. I know yesterday they realized something wasn't right during their SCI deal and took it mid alley. Well now they're doing whatever it is they're doing in their parking area. That's fine I guess. Till someone opens fire. Fortunately I have an edge on location. Not only am I up high and concealed, I also have a better selection of defense mechanisms to choose from, all of which I am highly efficient with. Not to say I'd do anything of the sort, but if shots were ever fired at my home, I would definitely fire back. My home is my castle. Crappy as it may be, a castle none the less. I saw them up to something and I was watching them from a corner angle I assumed wasn't visible to them, but it seemed as if one of the guys was staring directly at me and I went on pretending to be doing stuff in the room like folding laundry. Maybe he saw me, maybe not. I just hope if he saw my head he thought I was not looking at them but doing something else. But it was enough to make me paranoid.

When I was leaving Walmart today, I left through the back way. A car seemed like it was following me. I don't know what kind of car it was but I thought it was Jeep at first because of the way the lights were shaped, but then when I made a left, I realized it was a car, possibly a mid 90's luxury sedan of sorts. Those lights seemed like they were following me and then I had a swarm of thoughts that if I went home, they would know where I live, so I thought I'd drive around for a while to lose them. Well it never got to that point because when I got to the light, I made a right and they went straight so it was never an issue. It made me wonder if they were following me, or if it was the guy in Walmart.

I know mothers make very nice targets. They are too busy watching their children to be on guard of their surroundings. I manage to do both pretty efficiently. I was in the baked goods aisle. I was price comparing vegetable oils and a suspicious white male, 5'8"ish, shaved head, medium build closer to the small side, some facial hair, gentle but vacant looking eyes, black hoodie and jeans comes up in the aisle behind me. He is also looking at the oils. I get mine and move down to cake decorations to see what they have to offer. I am a fan of the sugar decorations even though they are probably very bad for me. He follows not too far behind. I make my way over to flour and I do need flour. I look at the prices and what they have and he seems like he is going to try to steal my purse from me or come up from behind me and stab me in the kidneys. I know this sounds crazy but it would be very easy to steal my purse at that point and time. I am with a child. I am watching my child. If he took it and ran, as a mother he thinks I will be more concerned about watching my child than following him and the place is so crowded, he probably can get out and escape easily. However, I am not that good of a target much to his disappointment. I stay in the orange when I am letting my guard down. Yes, I'm a paranoid person and view everyone as a potential predator, but I have yet to have any issues ::knock on wood::.

It makes me wonder then, when I was driving home, was it him following me? Was he mad that he couldn't get my purse in the store? Was he that desperate that he would blatantly follow someone in attempts of mugging them? Could I really have a lot of money? I don't know. I just would have felt bad for him if he did try to mug me. If he did succeed to get anything from me, whatever he would get would all be maxed out or no funds available. I always joke that I feel bad for the person who ever steals from me as I have nothing to offer. I am the person who, if unarmed, would be shot or severely assaulted because of that.

I try not to go anywhere after dark or in busy places when I am alone though. That's just my rule. I believe that the best way to prevent an accident is to avoid dangerous situations. It only makes sense. And oddly enough, Walmart parking lots are crime havens.

When I got home, the first thing I did was put Charlie upstairs and do my half-and-half grocery drop. Take half the groceries to the inside hall, then the other half. Shut the security door and carry half the groceries upstairs and come down for the other half. Suspicious activities from the time I got home included what looked like a black or dark colored mustang driving slowly down the alley. I stayed in my car till it left. Then, when I was taking Charlie inside, a man walking down the street in the dark, smoking a cigarette with a hoodie on. I don't think he saw me, I did see him. I saw him coming back with a friend as I did my grocery half-and-half. Again, I don't believe they saw me, but I saw them. They walked down the street and said nothing as they passed. It seemed odd.

As always, when putting Charlie up, I do a full check of the house to make sure there aren't any intruders, as well as when I bring the groceries up. I always shut the gates behind me so that if anyone tries to run, they have to get over the gate and by that time, if they make it out of the house unharmed, once they get to the gates, they will be shot. If a precision shot with a .380 doesn't get them, a generalized shot from the 870 will.

Yes, I'm paranoid. Yes, I would shoot someone if they tried to harm me or my family. I wouldn't think twice about it. My home is my castle. It may be crappy but it is my castle. If you come in uninvited, you are up to no good. You deserve the ill fate that is ahead of you.

At this point, I am back into the red. I will go to sleep again with one eye open, both ears alert, waiting to hear any questionable sounds outside or fussing from Charlie. All the more reasons to move. I just don't see this neighborhood cleaning up any. And with the economy the way it is, the only people we do have are all the drug dealers and criminals. Lord knows they don't have any qualms in their drug induced states doing the unthinkable to keep their consistent highs.

We need to get out while we can.

2 comments:

The Joo said...

I think the movie you're thinking of is The Rear Window- it's a hitchcock flick. I can't tell you how often I reference a simpsons parody of something rather than the original.

Rick said...

you are funny - and I liked it