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Thursday, May 14, 2009

interesting encounters

I will never say that it was easy to get people to talk to me this semester. Walking up to people in the streets to pry into what they consider personal was difficult enough. The experience was only made more difficult by the fact that people often treated me as some sort of leper. 
"Can I ask you a couple of questions about the neighbhorhood?"
"No! I don't know anything."
It was like some sort of knee jerk reaction that most people had. It was surprising to find so many people who didn't know anything. How they function without knowing a single thing is beyond my meager understanding. 
However, the people who were willing....Well when it rains it pours. One person in particular comes to mind when I think of my time in the Excelsior. His name was Winston. Straight talker is the best description for this guy. The first time that I met this man he told me to beware of anyone over the age of seven. "They always lie!" 
No, he's not some run of the mill crazy spouting nonsense for the sake of it. He is perfectly lucid and perfectly astute in his social estimations. He is a former Excelsior business owner who has moved to the Dominican Republic within the last two years. He stands about six feet three inches and with a black overcoat. His black fedora hangs low over his eyebrows and comes to a soft point around the level of his eyes. Looking past his rimless frames I saw the faintest blue rim around his pupil. He looked like he would be just as at home walking into a jazz club ready to blow out an improvisational masterpiece bound to change someone's life with its sound. He is in a word cool. 
For about 30 minutes he ranted and raved about everyone from the current police chief, to the former district supervisor, to the Ken doll look-a-like mayor. No one was safe, nor should they be. He was one of those men who calls it like he sees it and he makes no apologies because as he says "It's the truth". There isn't too much more about this I just thought that a man with such brazen honesty should be noticed. 

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