I had this really cool bike. Man, it was the cheapest bike. I bought it from this weirdass Lebanese guy who lives right near Wal-Mart. He sold it to me for like, sixty bucks. It was the best sixty I've spent. The bike wasn't all hyped up or anything, but it got me wherever I needed to go. It's just that, where I live, there're all these cracks in the sidewalk and potholes on the streets that I'd forget about. It doesn't really matter though. Tripping on a crack and flying off your bike is a hell of a lot cooler than tripping on a crack while you're walking.
Driving around here is total shit. My parents used to make me do grocery runs just because I knew how to drive. I'd be standing in line sandwiched between two hot chicks with cereal, bananas, shaving cream and tampons rolling on the conveyor belt alongside me. Oh, and no matter what supermarket you go to, Toyota trucks are double parked all over the goddamn parking lot, and they take up all the spaces closest to the entrance, and on the way there, it seems like no one knows how the hell to use a crosswalk. I'd be driving along and out of nowhere this jet-propelled baby carriage would zoom in front of my car—I'd slam the breaks and the baby carriage's mom would come up in the window with this face, and then she'd be like: "¿Que pasa, hah¿Que pasa? You no see me and baby?" If I'm lucky, she'll spit on my car and finish me off with: "Cabron."
Peter's dad, like, right when he'd be driving would say to us: "Three points for bums with carts, one point for wetbacks, but negative two points for children. No children." Peter and I seriously thought that he was going to run over some bums, so we'd put on our seatbelts. He got pretty close to doing it once, but I don't think he meant to. There's this legless veteran that wheels around right in the middle of the goddamn street between the hours of twelve and four on Tuesdays and Fridays or something. He cusses at people sitting by restaurant windows, and he'd solicit customers coming out of Hollywood Video for some cash. He's pretty famous for pulling kamikaze stunts around here, and he's responsible for a lot of the accidents on Sepulveda street. He called me and Peter "stupid fuckin' white kids" once. That was hilarious.
But anyway. About my bike.
I parked it to get something to eat at this shitty-small taco stand, El Taco's.
My neighborhood's pretty poor, and the richest-looking house on the block belongs to a black guy and his white wife, which is hilarious and ironic—it's like, blue and white and looks like a pimp house. But yeah, in my neighborhood, there's a code. This holy code that no one should do what they wouldn't want someone else to do to them. I'm like, thinking I'm good, right? So I parked my cheapo bike on the sidewalk, locked and chained with the combination scrambled and everything to a light post with layers of papers taped to it of missing dogs, apartments for rent, and cars for sale. I pulled the door open, even when the door said "push." The smell of 'carne' and other good shit wafted out of El Taco. The air was thick and greasy. It was awesome. I ordered the usual.
I came out to find it missing. My bike. "My bike!" I sprayed a mouth full of taco. The next thing I blurted out was: "Who stole my bike? Who stole my goddamn bike?"
People walking past me stopped to share in on my hostility. A black guy with a big 'fro and a comb sticking out of it came up with his hands in his pockets. He clicked his tongue. "Fuckin'. Man oh man, cracker. Somebody stole your bike?"
"Yeah, Christ, I don't know. I just ordered a. Goddamn taco and came out to find my bike gone." I was kind of like scanning his eyes while I was talking to him.
"Aw" was all he said.
I stopped scanning his eyes and felt pretty bad. I'm so racist. ... but he's got an afro and everything.
Naw, he's harmless.
"Man, whatev'," I said. I felt pretty gangster talking to him. I even thumbed my nose. "Whatev'. I'm just gonna curb stomp him when I find him. I'm gonna get him by the shirt, fling him down and curb stomp his face Nazi style." As I was saying this, I squeezed my fist and my taco exploded. It was completely demolished. It looked like someone chucked fiesta sauce on my shoe. "Well, shit." I said.
Afro hosted a huge smile, where the corners are sort of turned down.