I live in the ghetto. Well, it was a ghetto until I moved there. It’s hard for me to say anywhere I live is ghetto. I’m not very ghetto at all. I still wear underwear with animal prints on them. The underwear I’m wearing right now has a dog in a Santa hat. It is Pitbull though. That’s kind of ghetto.
It’s a weird thing for me to live in an area where someone gets murdered every other week within walking distance of where I bathe and tuck my imaginary children in at night. I didn’t always know that this place was so ghetto. It took about a week of living here when my dad sent me the police blotter. A police blotter is one thing you don’t want to see places you recognize.
(My imaginary children sitting on a swing set talking about how to kill daddy)
There are obvious signs now that I live in a ghetto area. The first being there is trash in front of my door that does not belong to me. Somebody who enjoys Salt and Vinegar potato chips thought it would be humorous to leave their empty package there. I think differently. Other random things appearing in front of my door have been toy cars, a potted plant, a basketball, and a small black child named Jamal who tried turning my doorknob. Did I need to say he was black? I said his name was Jamal. He had just moved in and his careless mother who lives above me was letting him roam around at 9 at night for some reason. This wasn’t the first time a child tried breaking into my home. When I was around 13 an autistic Spanish girl around 7 years old opened my front door. I yelled “Who are you? Who are you?” She closed the door then sat in front of my house picking at the grass as autistic children tend to do. I went outside with my sister and tried to communicate with her. I said whatever Spanish words I knew like “hola” which means hello and “cago en tu leche” which means I shit in your milk. My sister had noticed the property value in the neighborhood going down due to the new Spanish family that lived two homes away so we returned her there without a reward. Question, how do you not realize your young autistic child has been missing for a half hour? If she went two houses in the other direction she probably would have been murdered. Her mother should wake up and thank me every afternoon. They’re Spanish. They sleep in late.
(“Sorry I was late Mr. Belding, I didn’t think school started until 6 pm.” – AC Slater)
The other day I saw a truck with shopping carts on top of it. Apparently some of my neighbors really like shopping carts. They like them so much that they bring them home with them. The truck was picking them all up from nearby dumpsters and returning them to their awful grocery store that is within walking distance. The dumpsters in my complex don’t contain too many strange things. Squirrels usually jump out when I toss in bags of shit. Isn’t that weird? I have thrown and will throw more bags of shit through the air than women I will ever have sex with. Even if I become Wilt Chamberlain, I’ve thrown hundreds of bags of dog shit into a dumpster or garbage can in my lifetime. Hey, I think I’ve got my epitaph written up.
My apartment complex is directly next to a couple other complexes. Those are a lot worse than mine. People get shot there all the time. There are pot holes in the roads that never get fixed. Some of the windows have pieces of wood on them. There’s a tennis court with a tree in the middle of it. I’m really glad I didn’t move there to save $50 a month. I’ve never really felt threatened by anything in my time living here. Today while doing laundry a cute girl said hello to me. Or maybe it was hi. Shit. I was too distracted thinking “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall” when she entered. I probably should have made some quip about brown underwear stains. If at any point that would be well received it would be laundry day. Instead I left and set my timer for when my clothes would be done drying. I think I blew my chance at ghetto sex.
(Whenever I drive through the more dangerous apartment complex I imagine myself getting a flat tire and ending up in a Black Hawk Down situation)
Despite all of the ghetto signs they try to make this look like a nice place. There are lots of pine trees, the maintenance guys are always walking about, a security guard drives around all night long, and each apartment has central air conditioning. I never had central air conditioning until I moved here. Ghetto people don’t have that. So maybe I’m not living in the ghetto. There might be loud arguments from neighbors, gang signs spray painted on trees, and random women’s weaves lying near my car, but that doesn’t make it ghetto. It makes it a place with a lot of character. A place I can call home.