Slums of Las Vegas Harden Me Like a Metapod

I’ve become a very passive person now that I am older; usually calm and quiet, and since maturing more, I’ve developed an aversion to violence; I do not condone it. But, the hood life leaves impressions in you which can be hard to abandon, and if you are kinda like me: grew up in and around the hood most of your life; roamed with the thugs of Tijuana; robbed a laundromat with the encouragement of your “friends” at the tender age of eleven, as they gave you a boost through a window which they managed to crack open, late at night after the business had closed; have been exposed to shadiness and crime since an early age (before you had even learned to wipe your ass properly), then you may have some unruliness lurking deep within you that is kept confined, hidden from the outside world.

I consider myself pretty civil. The kind of person that believes that a problem is better resolved over an earnest, civil discussion, rather than through the use of force and violence. I believe that a proper education, and much philosophy, makes a person more civil, and dare I say, “soft.” And though it may be true that education softens the individual, which seems to me a good thing for society, and human coexistence, I feel like I am beginning to harden, like a Metapod, with each passing day that I spend in these slums, and one must be hard to survive here.

Today I felt something within me, something which I have not felt in a while; I felt the upsurge of the intense anger, which I would imagine, lingers within brutes. It came forth while I sat on a seat, right outside my sister’s place, smoking a cigarette, listening to hip-hop instrumentals on the MacBook. I believe that there is an anger which lingers within us all, that is seldom acknowledged, until one day, it burst forth like a Jack-in-the-box into the world. An anger which is like a pot of chili simmering on a stove, and so long as the heat is set on low and a little attention is given to it from time to time, prevents the chili from boiling over and causing a mess on the stove top. That type of anger.

It arose within me when–excuse my French–a crazy motherfucker that lives around the corner, beyond the drying slanting pine trees (that appear as if they are about to uproot themselves and walk-off to a lumber mill to be put out of their misery) at my sister’s housing complex, stared at me, as I sat outside on my smoking seat, minding my own business on the lap top. He passed by, in his roller blades, and would shoot his spiteful glance in my direction as I smoked a cigarette. I wished he would have tripped over the speed bump, or that a pebble would get stuck between his roller skate wheels and that he would end up breaking his ass. That’s the least he deserved.

Why am I being so disparaging, and why call him a “crazy motherfucker”? Because crazy motherfucker is, what crazy motherfucker does (and the word helps convey the anger which I felt at that moment). He has demonstrated himself to be a crazy motherfucker because no rational, understanding human being would have acted how he acted this morning while I went after Princess, as I attempted to make her get back in the house.

This morning, Princess, my sister’s miniature Rottweiler Chihuahua, managed to sneak out of the house. The screen door was slightly opened, and Princess was nowhere to be seen in the living room–where she typically hangs out. I walked outside and called her name, and there she was, by the dumpster, a mouthful of who-knows-what (could have been the remains of a dead rat for all I know). That little chipmunk began to run away as I walked towards her calling out her name. She must have found whatever it was that she was devouring beside the dumpster near the parking lot, where more often than not, people leave remains by the dumpster instead of putting in the little added effort to ensure that the waste goes inside. This place is a landfill, and it boggles my mind how careless some of the people living here can be. And so, as I went after Princess she booked it in the direction of crazy fucker’s house (for short).

As I went after her, a scene was unfolding, and soon my attention was drawn towards the drama; yelling and shouting was taking place between crazy fucker and some women–maybe girlfriend, mother, sister, wife? Who knows, none of my business, and at the moment I was only concerned with making sure Princess made her way back indoors. “It’s too early for this shit,” I thought, and crazy fucker was acting like a crazy fucker. He was very angry and extremely vociferous, cursing, yelling, throwing swings at the air, all the while, the women receiving the verbal assault was walking away, saying things to calm his tantrum–which only made the belligerent more upset–as she walked towards her vehicle. She hopped in and drove off; yelling and cursing C.F. (even shorter) made his way back inside the apartment, angrier than before.

I just don’t understand. What causes a person to act in such a manner?–drugs? Mental illness? Extreme dissatisfaction with what life has offered? Who knows, but he seemed perfectly normal enough to roller skate quietly past me, keeping to himself.

Anyways, this person was acting less than human, yelling, causing a scene, being extremely disrespectful towards a woman. I attempted to disregard as much of it as I could, and as long as the only thing taking place were verbal assaults, which sadly the women seemed accustomed to, I didn’t think it necessary to intervene, since that would probably only antagonize the belligerent idiot even more.

His actions caused me to remember, albeit briefly, distant memories, which I tend to repress, since they are not very consoling, of occurrences in my life which have come to pass long ago. Things that every kid that grew up in a broken home, with a terrible stepfather would understand, and this may be why I felt such an anger towards that brute as he passed by, glancing at me, when all I wanted to do was enjoy a cigarette, and approach a little closer to death in serenity.

I am over it now though–fuck ’em.

But, scenes like these are a regular occurrence around here, unfortunately, not the best of places to be in–the good ol’ slums of Las Vegas, the hood, where zero fucks are given by the loose-screwed dwellers of this place. There is always some crazy shit taking place. It’s like “Boys n the Hood” but less entertaining. Here you may find: belligerent drunks yelling death threats at one another over money owed, that’s normal; parents cursing loudly and angrily threatening their children of ass whoopins is considered appropriate; the sirens of police, ambulances, firefighters, are heard at all hours of the day, you’d think Armageddon was taking place; and pigeons flock around in abundance, dumpster diving alongside the homeless that push shopping carts filled with others garbage–there goes the sound of sirens now! Gotta love it.

The struggle is real here, but for the most part, if you don’t go out looking for trouble, trouble may still come looking for you. Other than that, it’s just like living anywhere else in the world, where poverty is rampant–very humbling, and takes some getting used to. It’s quite an experience I tell you, and helps build character. The Good ol’ slums of Las Vegas.

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