Friday, May 23, 2008


Welcome to Los Angeles.

Now get dodging.

The drive up in the rental truck enlisted Justin's USMC skills to brake and make evasive maneuvers whenever a car decided to cut him off on the freeway or quickly turn out of a driveway on the side streets of LA.

We just went to Target to buy bathmats, a welcome mat and nails to hang photographs.

In the bath section there was this guy hiding at the end of the aisles as if he were a little kid playing cops and robbers--or a Mexican Blackwater mercenary training among the rows of towels and toothbrush holders to go to war in Iraq.

He kept doing it--dashing between the aisles, spying on someone between the tiny holes of the particle board display cases, crouched and peering around the corner and then hiding quickly, in case The Enemy saw him.

Missing an anxiety medication in the morning usually yields no effect within a day, but this guy had Justin nervous, my heart beating and palms sweating. The guy was holding a little boy's Superman pyjamas crumpled in his left hand, so we thought maybe he was playing with a kid, but we couldn't see the kid. Just women sorting clothes in the shoe aisle, a Target employee helping a customer with a purchase decision, and a couple of others stocking shoes and storage supplies.

Justin and I finally had to just go to another section--the welcome mats--because I was too scared to stay in the bathmat aisle and Justin was ready to "break out some maneuvers."

When the man put his hand in his pocket I planned to hit the deck on the otherside of the corner of the aisle and Justin was planning to tackle him or hit his hand (he was really really nearby).

Finally concluding that the man was a security guard, since the pocket device turned out to be a walkie talkie instead of a gun, we still felt compelled to get out of the way. In a nearly complete panic attack, my palms were sweating, I felt like vomiting and I was dizzy.

We managed to choose hardware for hanging wires and photographs, and then I mentally chose the grape-purple bathmats for the master bathroom.

A woman shrieked, "Get off me!"

"TV?" Justin asked.

"No. 'Get off me.'"

"It sounded like it came from outside," he said. We voyeristicly wished we could have watched it happen... Mr. Vigilante Rent-a-Cop jumping on some large Black woman who just pushed out a cartful of Target clothes as if she had paid for them.

There are security cameras everywhere in this Target. Even the parking lot.

I have never felt so unsafe as a Target shopper.

We went straight to the pharmacy for my medicine, and then Justin drove me home.

1 comment:

KI said...

Oh gosh -- sorry that this was your introduction to your new neighborhood :-( Clearly, I need to come visit you soon...