Oakland, CA

Before I blew town, I was living in East Oakland with a good friend. To say the least, it’s not exactly suburbia, and to be more accurate, it’s one of the worst, most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.   It was a stark, cold, and depressing place to live.

The Hawk sometimes had to park around the corner on East 14th, like this particular night.  And this particular night, there was tension in the air.

I came out of my building, out the gate, and onto the street.  Usual sounds outside, the BART train, distant sirens, dogs barking, cars driving by.  Something more though – angry voices carried over the rest, a man’s and woman’s.  The closer I got towards the end of the block, the louder it got, until I saw the two, on the opposite side of East 14th.

The man was pissed.  Young white man, ratty clothes on, animatedly angry at the equally unkempt young white woman.  Lord only knows what they were arguing about.  Didn’t matter.  CLAP!!  As I hit the corner, the dude reached back and hit the girl full force.  Crumpled her like paper-mache.

Then he walked away, up the block away from me, just left the girl lying there on the street.  A couple cars drove by.  The guy just sort of faded into the darkness, the background of the environment.  The Hawk bent the corner and climbed into his truck, started it, let it warm up. Pulled out into traffic, drove away.  Still thinking about it.

And the beat goes on.

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