Monday, November 9, 2009

How often do you hear "Fuck you" when you walk through your neighborhood?

We just got home from taking puppy face Finnegan for a walk through the park. I was terrified of Shelby Park when we first moved in - all I knew was the area was rough and it was best to stay out of the park. Indeed, a lady was murdered in the picnic area last summer; it turned out she was an informant for some drug case and she got silenced, and while I find it slightly reassuring that it wasn't a random hit, that sort of thing doesn't happen in the East End. The rent was cheap, though, and the landlord wasn't going to run a credit check for me to live here, and it's like a heartbeat away from work. So I stayed in my house and avoided the park.

Then we got Finnegan. I firmly believe that a tired puppy is a well-behaved puppy, and since I'm terribly messy and lazy and refuse to pick up after myself, I knew that I'd have to walk this dog if I wanted to not have to replace all my things that the dog destroyed. So that first morning after Finn moved in with us, I got up early, put on his new harness and leash, and we ventured out to Shelby Park. And you know what? It's beautiful. This inner-city park is about two blocks wide and a block long, with a nice walking path all the way around and down the center, gazebos, picnic areas, play areas, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and two basketball courts. The grass is lush and green and the trees are mature and there are squirrels OH THE SQUIRRELS!!! Finn was in love, and I enjoyed the exercise and the very-quickly-noticed weight loss that came from moving my ass only 15 to 30 minutes a day.

The park wasn't scary at all. Kids play football and t-ball and baseball and cheerleading and swing and slide and have a merry time. Their parents sit on benches socializing with other parents, or talking on their cell phones. And at least one person, be it adult or child, in every group, has a filthy, dirty mouth. Tonight, we came upon a group of children, girls mostly, aged 3 to 12 or so. "Fuckin' bitch ass ho! Fuck that bitch! I'll kick her ass!" Whoa. A few more steps, and from the corner store across the street, a group of men sitting out front are talking about "fuuuuccckkkkk, man. You know that nigga be lyin'!"

I use bad words too. Often, and usually not in the most appropriate places. I'm not offended at hearing these things while walking through the park, in my neighborhood, a block from my home. But I remember East End living. Those bitches would freak the fuck out, man. :)

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