Sunday, June 15, 2008

How I know I live in a city, an American city

There's no doubt I live in a modern American city when I have to pass through a cart sale being held by the homeless on my block to "exercise" the dog in the morning. 
It took me a while to figure out that it wasn't a normal garage or yard or alley sale, because in Southern California—or at least in my neighborhood—people have such sales by spreading a tarp on the sidewalk or yard, the driveway or the hedges and then cover the tarp with their wares. It was only when I realized that the goods were being taken out of a sharping cart to be placed on the hedge that I figured out that this was a new phenomenon for me and not the standard collection of old baby clothes and VHS tapes that I couldn't play even if I wanted to. 
I thought about stopping by to see if there was anything that I had put out that was not for sale. After all, since there is a pretty sizable homeless population around here (the result of the gentrification of downtown and the police effort to move them away from where tourist and ballgame-goers might see them), when we have clothes that are beyond donation we put them by the trash, so our trash-pickers can take what they might want. So, I might just have found my winter coat, but then Mateo gets a little nervous around some homeless people—they can be hard for him to predict—so I thought better of it. 

No comments: