This morning as I was leaving to go run I passed a guy drinking a beer in front of the corner shop.
“Yum,” I thought.
He finished his beer and tossed it down on the sidewalk. This gentleman was one of several of the same mysterious-to-the-cops industrious young men that always stand there. They dress very similar to each other, perhaps to appear similar when the cops show, or maybe they are all in a boy-band. “B-boy’s Town?” On the way back from my run as I waited for the light to change in front of the cross-fit that isn’t open much I decided.
I picked up the cans and the chee-toe bags from their feet and looked up and said,
“Man, can you believe people would disrespect OUR neighborhood like this? I mean you and I, we live here, why would they do that to us?”
I looked around, the trash can that used to be in front of the Ahjang market is now across the street. As I crossed the street, a lady dressed in the standard issue puffy nylon coat- maybe she’s going skiing later—says,
“Thas why they got street cleaners.”
“Yeah, but the city doesn’t seem to like to spend money, and I would rather they feed some folks that need it our use it for housing homeless.”
Now, I should stop here and say that I am an ethical person, but it is always OK to lie to a crackhead.
“besides, its not about hiring a street cleaner, You live here, I live here- this is your neighborhood, why would you allow (still pretending I don’t presume it was her and her pimp who tossed down the beers) someone to trash your home? “
“Sounds like you want to cal the cops, go on and call em.” She said.
“I don’t want more cops, I just want people to show some class, ya know?”
“I gots class, it wasn’t me!” She said as I left.
We can live and let live, and I certainly don’t want anyone getting hurt, but I am going to start to make my streets cleaner and try to get my neighbors (aka crackheads) to clean up after themselves. As I write this I know that Bedlam has done more for this neighborhood than any other organization or business in the city and I want to say it is with respect that I patronize them. But we’re numerous, and have less “business” risk than them so I suggest we start doing some browbeating. If you know anything about cocaine you know it makes people paranoid, so if we all start talking to crack heads and dealers about cleaning up, twenty different random people, sometimes several different ones in an hour- its going to be weird to them. And fun for us.