I’ve mentioned often that I live deep within the ghetto, amid hookers and hobos and drug dealers. It’s been good for me, a humbling transition from my pampered suburban childhood. But this morning, as I walked the 2 blocks to my car, I was dragged into a domestic squabble that shook me to my core.
Allow me to explain.
Carrying not only my purse and lunch and coffee, but a Nordstrom bag full of tonight’s clothing, hair care and make-up, not to mention gold strappy heels dangling from my pinky, I maneuvered past litter and sleeping vagrants, narrowly avoiding a car parked on the sidewalk. When I say car, that’s using the term loosely. It was more like a wagon with aluminum siding and tinfoil fashioned into the shape of a car.
As I passed, a haggard looking woman with a black eye emerged from her front yard and began loading blankets and clothes and boxes into the “car.” I had to pause to allow her to do this, and as I stopped, I peered into her front yard to find 3 topless men standing there, one of whom was peeing on a dying rosebush.
As soon as she closed the door, I began walking by and she got in, starting the car and beginning to drive it and all of her belongings still hanging out the door off the sidewalk and onto the street.
Suddenly, a tattooed and tank topped man came running from within her home, screaming obscenities and throwing potted plants at the car.
“Oh no you fucking don’t! Don’t touch my mother-fucking vehicle! I’ll fuck that shit up!”
Neighbors emerged from their homes to watch the commotion, as I pretended to be oblivious, thinking to myself, “Keep walking. Just keep walking.”
He ran right in front of me, wielding a stick which he then slammed down on the hood of the car. “I will fuck you up! Get the fuck out of my car! Now!!!”
It is at this point that I wince, dropping my purse, a slouchy gold leather contraption that, while completely fabulous, isn’t the kind of accessory you want thrown into a while trash melee. This required that I stop, approximately 10 feet from the ongoing altercation, place down all of my belongings, grab my purse and it’s spilled contents, rearrange everything on both of my shoulders, and continue on, as if nothing had happened.
The woman operating the vehicle remained silent, no doubt resigned to her volatile situation or possibly mute from years of systematic domestic abuse at the hands of a toothless correspondence school graduate. This morning, however, was not the morning that I planned to rescue some battered wife in a Lifetime-esque moment of sisterhood, blowing off work to drive Krystal to the shelter.
I booked it out of there and found my car, caring more about unloading my crap and confirming that none of the contents had been lost in excitement. After all, if some gal is willing to be used as a punching bag by Cletis, that’s her business. But my gold strappy heels take shit from no one…