Monday, December 08, 2014

Honky in the Hood

From the small food store clerks from Kerala, to the dry cleaners from Lahore to Turks at the kebab shop, I get eye balled a lot, eyed out of curiosity perhaps and they all never hesitate to eventually ask, "Where from?" The adrenaline junky I am, I tell them (and they can tell their ski-masked friends for all I care) -- America!

Sometimes, they respond, "America. Good" Other times they say nothing and seem to be absorbing the subjective mental bitcoin, information as a commodity, a chip to be cashed in later should someone who happens by wants to know, hey I'll give you three fitty cent if you tell me where I can find an American.

The nearest other to a honky in hood is my neighbor, a larger-than-life presence from South Africa, a café au lait giant, who shaves his head and who likes to talk. And talk. And talk. Listen? Eh. He needs to work on it. At least he has a pleasant to listen to deep booming voice that comes with a hearty laugh, reminding me of Jeff Holder --you know, the "cola nut, uncola nut -ah ha ha" guy from those 70's 7-Up commercials? 

So within my own frame of reference, from my third floor apartment, two doors down from one big freaking mosque that thunders prayer calls at 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM, and several more times throughout the day, rattling windows and scaring neighborhood bin cats, I count just one Caucasoid -- me-- and my Dutch speaking neighbor from Johannesburg who has at least one chuck in the wood pile (something I'd never tell him lest he stomp on me like a cockroach).

On my soundtrack of the mind, whenever I venture out for phone cards, Red Bull, bread, cheese and bananas, as I dodge six lanes of traffic coming off of and speeding towards a freeway ramp, this is the song I hear.


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