Where The Poodle At? 8.26.04
Yesterday, while running, I realized a few things about my local park. My little sibling, Agua Dulce, at one point would talk about our neighborhood as “the hood,” you know, that place where gunshots pop off all night and crap games get broken up in front of project walkways by the muthaf**kin’ 5-oh, where the stairs smell like piss and there ain’t nothing but bodegas and churches and liquor stores on every corner. And the beauty salon so you can get your hair did, and the barbershop so you can get your fade and sides trimmed correct.
I never really thought of it as such, being four years older than he and not having gone to our local grade school, a home for hoodlums like the now famous Lloyd Banks of G-Unit fame. Additionally, I never learned that one should talk about one’s rap craeer and how “you’ll hear of us” to the insurance company that one owes money to. Nor have I had friends who just got out of jail. Except for Eben, of course. But something that struck me—just as cities have suburbs, and suburbs have ex-urbs, the hood has sub-hoods. And I seem to have been enveloped in one.
Now, there are still couples walking their poodles. Lots of poodles. It was strange. Some larger and well-kept dogs. Black people, Latino people, Indian people. A women’s softball game, some people running, kids waiting for football practice. Tennis courts active with players. All countered by the occasional smell of weed smoke (light this afternoon), the sauntering kids in football and basketball jerseys, yelling on the basketball courts, the guy in the laminated van (like the ones radio station street teams drive) trying to sell me his CD, “Hood Politics” with a picture of him “intelligently” reading a book with some glasses that don’t fit, and of course the asshole.
The asshole is riding a dirt bike on paths, had been doing so for a while. If one comes to a fork to split, we’re on the other side of the fork, where the paths come together. I am trying to pass a slower runner on my right. I see the biker and think, at that speed he’s bound to go straight. But oh no. That isn’t adventurous for this jackass, who cuts a 35º turn straight into my path. I jumped out of the way.
Effin’ knuckleheads. We ain’t the hood but stupid elements still infiltrate. That’s the name of my new album. S.E.S.I. Wait, if I add the N-word, then I can call my album S.E.N.S.I. If I put that joint on a Carolina bounce beat, add some dancehall touches, it’s gonna sell like half-price Ipod minis.
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*Check out Rini’s work editing Two Lines.