Whack-A-Mole

Marissa and Baby

Marisa told me her foot was infected from a spider bite. Shoeless, she gingerly picked her way through the debris. They had two dogs living with them.

Both sides of the freeway were cleared out only a few weeks ago, everyone pushed off of State of California property and onto the railroad tracks (the county’s problem) or onto a tiny patch of ground next to the Roscoe Blvd offramp, two feet from traffic (the City’s problem).  They’ve slowly trickled back, in pairs. Nature abhors a vacuum.

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In the chaos of moving day, there were lost connections.

Keep Voting, sez MSNBC

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Mrs. UpintheValley, who did not vote for Godzilla, has been obliged to avoid Facebook, the vitriol and emotive accusation has been so intense.

Now, in the name of tolerance, the call has gone out for the assassination of the non-President, the week after the election.

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Bullet in the forehead, bleeding from his, wherever….

And I thought my apolitical blog was going to go back to being apolitical.

He hasn’t even taken the oath, people.  Tell me how this movie ends.

Banksy-graffiti

Banksy has his own view.   He of course has made millions doing something which is technically illegal, but clearly changes how things are perceived. Or tries to. Otherwise what would be the point?

What begins in wish fulfillment,  ends as all Pygmalion-like creation myths do. Carve a woman from marble and your feverish longing, and you will fall in love with her. You will leave a bloody handprint.

Riddles in the Afternoon

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Van Nuys is not on anyone’s list of urban pleasure walks, but you can see a lot in an hour.  Freedom. Love. Trust. Help.  I have no idea who Trusty is. I don’t know who is asking for help. I don’t know if the panhandler sign is trying to say pleaser or pleasure, or if the misspellings are a deliberate calculation. Or if the declaration of daddy love is ironic. They’re all messages from the parallel world of the dispossessed.

Rebecca Has No Tent

Life on twenty pounds of copper a week

Life on twenty pounds of copper a week

After a summer without a sighting, I found Rebecca tonight in the scrubland behind the 405.

A woman was sitting on the Metrolink tracks, lacing up her shoes, bellowing incoherently into the ailanthus: Whag-gle!  Whah-gul!  It took me a moment to realize she was trying to say “White Eagle”. I walked through the bushes in the direction the woman was shouting and found Rebecca dragging her cart across the dirt.

She’d lost a little weight since May.  It hadn’t been going well.    The Valley was pretty well picked for scrap. The battalions of the white favela had seen to that. A weeks work of scrapping net a little over 20 pounds of copper coil. A steady drop in metal prices meant the Raymer street yard was paying $1.60/lb.  Her old man was drinking it away in front of the 7-11 at Roscoe and Sepulveda.  They had been living on Orion for awhile but had recently gotten bounced by local merchants. Before that, The Narrows. Before that, Saticoy.

Someone had stolen her tent while she was at the recyclers.  She had no money for a new one. She was on the move.

For the time being, they were sleeping behind Jack in the Box until they figured it out it.