Whisper

11 Aug

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My block is getting even more gang-ridden; with foul-mouthed rap blasting from windows and shaven-headed Mexicans tagging the walls with spray paint. This season in L.A. the Blacks hate the Latinos more than ever; they’re executing each other in an ethnic cleansing of whole neighborhoods.

Where a white guy like me fits in is anybody’s guess. On any given day, I’m either Captain Kangaroo or Paladin.

There will come a day when I’ll have to deal with unwanted attention. On that day or night I’ll call on the ghost of Whisper, a youth who died of an overdose on the sidewalk in front of my building, the night before I moved in. For weeks, gang members tended a shrine of flowers, candles and snapshots. In the mornings I’d tidy up the shrine, up-righting candles that had tipped over in the night.

When I finally face the inevitable moment of truth of living here on this block, I’ll call on Whisper to save me.

(2006)

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2 Responses to “Whisper”

  1. ldlagarino August 11, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    What do they get for a one bedroom?

    • pissingonmypistols August 11, 2013 at 2:39 am #

      I was in a studio sublet, paying about $500 a month. Later, my one-bedroom cost me $1,150 a month, which was considered cheap in Hollywood.

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