I was working in East L.A. It's as poor as Downtown but the visibility of such is not as obvious. It's a different junkie and crime culture out there.
I was pumping gas today and a woman, with the pores on her face all eaten up by drugs already, came to me and asked for some bus change. When did I start being able to identify the junkies' faces? I think it started when I met my Cuban drug dealer neighbor on wheelchair next door. He always opens his door so I see him everyday. His entire person, is eaten by drugs. He calls me the Asian bitch when he talks to his girlfriend in his apartment. I can hear it.
So going back to the woman in the gas station. She had a sweet voice, was blonde, in her 40s maybe, equally torn as I. I was pumping the regular class with my door wide open at 5PM, and playing Sinead O'Conner's Nothing Compares to You very fucking loud that everybody hated. I told her I had no money. She said she really liked the music. So, for a minute, not for any reason in particular, I looked at her and she looked at my car, we spent some time together listening to Nothing Compares to You. Two broken women, one song. Sinead is haunting. Will everybody please stop reminding me of him?
It's been so lonely without you here
like a bird without a song
nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
tell me baby where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms round every boy I see
but they'd only remind me of you
I think she was beautiful. I don't know what happened to her. But she was probably born blonde and pretty. And now, I don't know, she's probably sleeping with strangers to make a buck to buy crack. She probably met the first guy that broke her cherry when she was younger, laid on his chest like in heaven like every girl does, stared at his light brown tiny nipples thinking they could build a beautiful house and raise some beautiful kids together too. When she went to bed in her parent's house's bedroom in Little Rock, she probably thought of her knight in shining armor wondering what he was doing too. She probably thought the pores on her face and her pussy would stay tight for as long as she wanted cuz she's so pretty too. She probably thought she was willing to do anything for him too. She probably felt that was the greatest love of all too. He probably told her he loved her too... Argh, I'm running out of breath...
And tonight, a few hours after I met her when I'm sipping this nasty Umani Ronchi Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2004 alone in the the Banquette that tastes like ketchup mixed with hydrogen peroxide before my gig, she probably is staying in hell for another night too.