La Huerta

It's on those times I feel like a white girl

as I'm walking down Echo Park Ave

at 7:22 pm on a Wednesday evening.

The air smells like doughnuts and Pioneer chicken

and I watch the sunset as she kisses the

tops of the palm trees goodnight.

 

It's one of those times I feel like a white girl

as I'm walking down Echo Park Ave at 7:24 on a Wednesday evening.

I see the skater boys jumping off the piled up milk crates

and the long beat up ramp

with no regard for pedestrians,

and I think back to the kids in my old neighborhood

with no regard for pedestrians,

and I think back to the kids in my old neighborhood

with their new skates and shiny ten speed bikes

and realize-

they'll never be as cool as the ones

right here and now.

 

It's one of those time I feel like a white girl

as I'm walking down Echo Park Ave at 7:27 on a Wednesday evening,

and I see the white guy from Apt # 4

in my building yelling at the

Mexican Family of one mom,

four kids and a grandmother with a baby in her arms

yelling,

“No, the apartment is not ready yet!

It's not for rent!

It's not ready for rent yet!

Not for Rent!

NOT FOR YOU!”

 

He walks back inside

The mother looks over at me and asks,

“Please how many bedrooms?”

I can't tell her about the family that lived there before,

the filth-

the trash-

the smell-

the nine cats that pissed in the hallway-

the fistfights at 3 am-

the eviction that took a year-

the shit I found smeared on my doorway.

 

I look back at her and say

“One bedroom

but-

it's not available right now.

It's really messed up from the last person.

Do you want to try again in a couple of months?”

 

It's one of those times I feel like a white girl

as I'm watching that family walk down Echo Park Ave

at 7:31 on a Wednesday evening.

I know she thought I was lying to her-

but, I wasn't

 

Marie Lecrivan