Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

I went to California around 2003 after a bad couple of years in the district. I was dumped by the girlfriend Kristy and started to live somewhat wild staying in the car and on couches.
Working as a messenger. The next thing that happened was getting hit by a car and being put in the hospital. The injury involved being hit from the back by a cabbie. He lied about what happened and he got another cabbie to lie about what happened also, to be a witness. I remember this fucking asshole, towelhead, getting out of his car angry with me because I was enraged enough, and in hindsight stupid enough, to kick his sacred crown vic. This was after he hit me driving away from the gas pump at twenty third and M st. and looking out of only his right hand passenger window as he floored it to the sidewalk and myself, as I was entering the crossing. I went down the ramp and attempted to evade this complete dick as he was completely not looking and going way to fast. I was hit while I was going down the ramp off the sidewalk and onto the road. The angle of the ramp meant that when he hit me from behind I was sent for big hang time. I remember, post adrenaline, The sound of my leg breaking and it was like when you intentionally snap a good size limb for firewood.
The cabbie was able to create his LIE right in front of me and talk arabic to his other unsympathetic coherts and when I was carted off to the hospital the female black cop came up to my bed and presented me with a District of Columbia traffic violation. ( foolish lazy DC cop and no chance for a lawsuit for a broke bastard like me..ok I met dad once.. :) The foreigner told the ambivilant policewoman that I kicked his cab as he was waiting at the sidewalk for me to pass. My leg was broken into "cornflakes" ( doctors proffessional assessment of the severity ) and required an orthopaedist thirteen screws and a rod the length of my calf to gather the result of my ...inability to control my "social disorder". ( BS )
Soo that was a bitter incident which rendered me pretty helpless. The surgery itself was set for two weeks post incident. This meant having a cast to allow swelling to reduce. This also meant every time I moved that leg the bits and pieces would grind and protest and I could feel the movement of the various pieces shifting. I was living on my brothers couch for a couple weeks and I was and I am gratefull for his help. ( though he never visits..)
Anyway, lets move forward and away from that fun. I was always blind to the lies and deceit of Kristy and I was back and forth with her and her BS until she left for good around 2003. It was the epic year when lance was crashing and still winning,..and I was crashing and losing. ( or at least thats the year I think ) I left for California to never come back. I went to Laguna Beach. It is a fancy Southern part of the west coast with many tourists and also quite a mix of locals too. The soul of the town industry is art and tourism. ( a pair of twins named Samara and Gabby moved there from Great falls, Va. who r old friends ) I found a few places to camp including a cave of sandstone in a canyon. I got a job as a construction laborer by just walking onto the site and getting sympathy from a nice foreman. I was not doing well though, even in paradise. people seemed distant and distracted. Insincere and preoccupied. Maybe those adjectives were really my own but I did ride my bike. I was not fully recovered but I was determined to not let the naysayers win. There were some including my own mother who told me I would probably have to forget about racing. I was maybe like Forrest Gump...confused, angry and needed time to think.
Soo the job at Monarch bay was wrapping up and I was not prospering there anyway so I packed up and headed off to LA in search of better pay and more importantly someone to maybe call a friend or to hang out with. The twins were involved with their own lives and the art people were not my sort. I was broke and the messenger bag was really loaded. I mean a set of Ksyrium wheels and much camping stuff. I slept under a beach in a really industrial part of long beach and a kind homeless guy, as opposed to me, lent me a blanket because I was sorta short. I felt for him BC he was whooping and coughing all night in his tent and I could hear his pain all night from a dozen yards away.
I rolled into the worst slums of any town I have ever seen. Made the worst parts of Baltimore look like a nice scenic getaway. I think it was Compton...not sure. I am sure I was interested in moving along quickly and worried for the first time ever about being jumped in broad daylight. Trust me, I have been plenty of places and this was the most bum infested, hood crowded, used car parking lot of an area I have seen.
I eventually, after literally hundreds of blocks of slums, started to see high rises and suits. I was never happier to see suits. I had spent my last dollar on a double cheese and I wanted to barter my wheels for some food money. I asked a commuter about where the messengers were to be found. He said "fourth and Flower". I was off. It turns out that it was like mecca. Weed wafting and guys who bought some of the stupid cycling shit I had and suddenly I had fifteen dollars and a route to Venice beach where I could crash. I slept on the beach under a lifeguard station for a couple weeks and evantually got a messenger job at 1st Legal. Like a Quick messenger service in DC. LIL lower rates but more work. I crashed some( slept ) at Jonas'es in Venice also and it worked out ok for a while but things were real tough there and I would never suggest going out there as ill prepared as I was...and as fucked up as I was mentally either. I am all growned up now. :) ( some of the stuff I got into I wont talk of here but not swift, lucky to be around stuff )


  1. Chris ... thanks for the glimpse into the messange lifestyle. Too many people think it is just the tight pants, the fixed gear bike, and the wool hat...sounds like so much more. Nobody messed with your bike while you were sleeping "outdoors"?

  2. I would lock it near me or put it in the tent by removing a wheel or two..big concern that was.