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Afternoons with Puppy by Dr. Aubrey Fine and Cynthia J. Eisen

HeavyGlow Flash Fiction Anthology Edited by Stacy Taylor

Blue by J.D. Riso. Also available at lulu


tales from the "hoods"

Well, I wanted to blog today but seeing as journalscape is down, I’ll just do it in word and transfer later. Maybe better that way as I will definitely check my spelling...maybe.

Anyhow, I found out some interesting stuff talking to the neighbors night before last. I found out about the previous occupants of the townhome I live in (and I use townhome in the loosest of terms)

Seems the guy who lived here right before we moved in (and left a ton of cigarette butts in the front “flower” beds) was a cocaine dealer. Apparently, one night my neighbors, Chris and Bethany wanted to go out for the evening, but before they could leave the police came to their door and told them they would have to stay inside for the next six or so hours. Why you might ask (as I did) because the cocaine dealer had gone down to the guy who lived in apartment b and shot him for not paying for his cocaine.

Well, all right, I’m not really gonna get too upset over that. Shit happens.

But the woman who lived here before the coke dealer was a prostitute and she used her residence as her place of business.

Honestly, I can’t get upset over that either.

I lived in a gated, expensive neighborhood in Charlotte. When we first moved in, when hardly anyone lived on that side of town (it was just beginning to grow) a woman was walking through our apartment community and was raped. Shocking to most, as everyone thought it a safe place to live.

Another night (some of you may remember the post way back when) the Iceback was at work and z and I were at home. With nothing else to do for the night, I’d washed my hair (the ole, typical “I can’t go out with you Saturday night because I have to wash my hair…well, yes, a lot of us women do actually wash our hair on Saturdays) so I’m sitting on the couch, watching God knows what on the t.v. when all of a sudden, I hear what sounds like a bunch of firecrackers going off. Only there was a slight pause between the “set” z comes down stairs asking if I heard that. We go to the bay window in the kitchen and look out. We see a sea of black folks walking/running as fast as they can to various vehicles spread throughout the parking lot (really, they shouldn’t have been parked that far down from the clubhouse, into our lots)

It turns out, the property had rented the clubhouse out to a private party (as they did often). A certain snubbed, not-invited guest got upset with the party throwers and in some sort of act of “I’ll show you” began shooting a gun off in the parking lot at nobody in particular.

Remember…gated community!

Then of course there is the other incidence of the two brothers with no discernible income. Hippy father was visiting, and as one of the sons came home in his expensive (how the fuck do you pay for that?) black lancer, two guys tailgated him into the complex, followed him to his door and as he got out to go inside, began blasting with a shotgun. The son and the father were both shot, not to mention a nice spread of buckshot in the front door and front “entry” hall. But no, it wasn’t “drug related,” of course not. (don’t know how they both drove expensive cars and lived in a $1000 a month townhome WITHOUT jobs…PLEASE!)

The fact is that no matter where you live, bad shit can happen.

So when I hear there was a coke dealer living here who blasted a delinquent customer in apt b for non-payment, or that a prostitute made her living out of my pad, so frickin’ what? Really?

So unless you live on a thousand acres in the middle of Godforsaken Kansas, it just doesn’t matter where you live. and truly, if you read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, based on a true story, or saw “The Badlands” with Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen, based on the true story of Charles Starkweather (way back in the 50’s) then you know that even the “country life” will not spare you the insane, unexplainable violence that happens in our world (country).

Right now, all I see that I have to worry about is the small group of Mexicans that spend all day and night out back smoking their “molta,” which is no worry at all (except being propositioned for sex when you’re in the least bit nice to them) and for those gangbangers that say they get high and then do drive-bys…it’s more than the weed urging you to do that, because most stoners I met are soooooo non-violent (unless they slap you to death out of uncontrollable giggling).

So the neighbor contends, yeah, not a really bad neighborhood but the worst in green cove springs. Which by my estimation still isn’t as bad as the worst neighborhoods in my small little hometown of Fort Smith and not even CLOSE to the east side of Charlotte.

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