On a personal/professional note, in addition to editing Mestizo Revelations, I am now focusing my writing efforts on Social Policy in Los Angeles for the LA Examiner, and will probably do so for the next few months.
Anyhow, I have a dilemma for people to help figure out with me.
The dilemma is whether or not I should have done something, anything, and how I could have done something, anything.
Today, I was walking down Vermont in East Hollywood to the Cahuenga library just as it started raining.
People already had their umbrellas. They knew this shit was coming. I didn’t care, I never use umbrellas.
As I was walking behind this teenager on the sidewalk, suddenly a middle-aged dude pulled over and got out of his car. I didn’t notice at first, but then he said to the teenager, “that’s my umbrella” and calmly made a motion with his hands asking for what seemed like his umbrella.
The teenager suddenly got real violent. He shouted, “what the fuck” and with that sharp-looking end of the umbrella threatened to stab the middle-aged dude, scaring and threatening to chase the dude into a driveway. He screamed, “it’s my fucking umbrella.”
I looked into the alley way and saw the middle-aged dude look back at me. I kept walking.
The teenager walked off looking back at me, and me looking at him.
I walked off as far as possible, images in my head of The Wire, where I’d get shanked if I snitched.
Over a fucking umbrella.
I felt bad for the man who was visibly shook, but maybe he was a gangster trying to take something that he “thought” was his.
I thought the kid might’ve stolen that umbrella, judging by his reaction, but maybe he was just shook and didn’t really know how to react.
At any rate, if I had an absolutely bulletproof body, I felt like I would have had the confidence to mediate the situation a bit better.