Friday, April 16, 2010

Rambling Through Santa Cruz

the day ended with me being cat-called by a woman who looked like a lesbian but i smiled nonetheless as i was hauling a trailer uphill and sweaty. "Yeah, slap that ass!" she yelled from the shotgun side of a jeep and left me with a "wooooo!" i've had worse things said to me from people in cars.

the day began with me freeing a damselfly from a cobweb, the spider was taking too long and i guess i felt like saving a damselfly in distress.

in the afternoon i had a nasty exchange with one of the downtown hall monitor snitches, a.k.a. Santa Cruz "hospitality hosts" - she was nice about telling me to not sit on the planter the way people with authority and the full violent power of the state can be; this was after i'd picked up a card table from a friend, stashed it in my trailer, and was taking a break to watch a jug punk band play outside Borders. I told in her so many ways to fuck off and felt bad about it later but then didn't so much.

i rode past a friend on a bike who yelled out "May 1st! May 1st!" A reference to May Day or Beltane or both. I imagine most SC folks will more likely be celebrating 4/20 next week. pity.

i pulled that trailer and table and box of books south on Soquel, saw a friend jogging, pulled over. we chatted about books. she was sweaty, it was nice.

i pulled over to talk to a homeless girl i'd seen at an intersection for a few weeks now. i guess she caught my attention cause' she's young and looks pretty together and i couldn't help but wonder what's her story. between the scream of cars, we chatted briefly, she was upbeat about life though she admitted it was hard out here - people yell shit at her and one person spit on her. only car drivers i tell ya. the cops had already come by and told her to move but she had to come back, this was her spot. i told her about my encounter w/ the "hospitality hosts" of downtown and she laughed. oh, the things other human beings do to each other.

but the cool thing was she said overall lots of folks have been supportive and that the experience gave her hope and a different outlook on humanity. i gave her a dollar, asked if she needed anything, she patted me on the shoulder and said no. i got back on the bike with the trailer and the table and the books and all that bullshit weight of authoritarian assholes in uniforms and callous people in cars and those who are destitute and without power on the margins of society, those margins always seem to be getting smaller, and i hauled it home. it wasn't even 6pm yet...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bike Riding in Post-Racial Amerika

Portland friend calls me up all flustered. Apparently, he got called the N-word by a dude in a car. The way he tells it, he'd been riding behind some delivery truck in a residential area, the truck came to a stop sign and my friend was gonna hang a left so he pulls to the left of the truck but stays behind to wait for the truck to continue. But the truck don't move.

The truck driver apparently expects mi amigo to pull up ahead and make the turn and so he waits and waits and then starts yelling. Amigo doesn't know what's going on, but the dude in the truck is swearing up a storm, like, "What? you gonna f#$kin' hit me with your bike lock?!!"

Amigo is like, "Um...are you talking to me?"

Truck driver, "Yeah I'm talking to you! GO ALREADY! GO!"

At this point, amigo (who's usually the person to do the fight picking) is nonplussed for as he puts it, "The guy could have put it in reverse and backed over me." So amigo starts moving away from the truck. Truck driver is way agitated now and people are starting to look and gesture to move as it's just a stop sign - That's when yells out, "YOU F@#KIN N*GGER!" and screeches away.

Amigo is like, whoah as he relates this to me over the phone.

I'm like whoah, dude, did he realize you're white?

Amigo: I believe so. I do have a beard now though, I kinda look like Jesus.

Me: I mean, I know you grew up in Peedro so you got soul, but you do also look like a Confederate general when you had your lambchops...

Amigo: I do have a black brother in law...but yeah, the whole thing was weird. The guy was freakin' crazy.

Me: You sure he didn't call you cracka?

Amigo: Nah, I mean, I guess he thought it was the worse thing he could call me. Cracka doesn't have the same gravity.

Me: True dat you cracka ass cracka.

Amigo: Shut yo' Mexican ass up.

* * *