"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Los Angeles had one of the filthiest bus systems out there and the people using them were primarily minorities. The only routes that tended to have a white majority on them were the ones that went from Burbank to Beverly Hills. Nonetheless, certain parts of Sunset Blvd. often had a lot of racial mixing.
The problems were not race, really, although I suppose part of it was. Rather class and culture. The employment dynamics that had helped create the various ghettos meant that during most hours the whites were off to their jobs, and the unemployed minorities (often cut out of the main job market by lack of education and training) were more in evidence along some parts of the street. If you want to know what a minority person experiences walking through an all white neighborhood, try walking through an area that has a black/hispanic/asian majority neighborhood (if you’re white).
Anyway, often it seems that walking through those areas alone, (tiny, five feet tall white female; my leg and lower back had not yet gotten really bad again) I was a target wearing a neon sign “grab me.”
In 1987, I was in a car accident. We were sitting at a stop light when we were rear ended by one of those light courier trucks. The fellow driving it was carrying papers between two businesses, reading his map and coming down one of the steepest slopes in Los Angeles. I broke my wrist, addled my brain, and was generally messed up for a few months. I would lose track of where I was while driving and end up in the wrong places. But the wrist was the worst of it since I made my living typing. After awhile, the pain from the wrist would make me nauseous and I would have to quit typing. H/J was not happy with this because she liked to dictate aloud while I typed it up and I would be so sick to my stomach by the time she allowed me to stop…. what a piece of shit.
The doctor that I was seeing at the time was located one block south of Sunset Blvd. While the car was being repaired, I had to take the bus in to my appointments. I walked down to the street it was on and then over a block after getting off the bus. One day a young hispanic tried to talk to me in the lobby, hollering “Hey, Lady.”
I ignored him and took the elevator up to the level the doctor was on. I was on edge to start with. When I came out a few hours later, he was still there and he followed me down the street, still trying to get my attention. (Before you say that I might have dropped something, I hadn’t) As I turned up the side street, to reach Sunset and the bus stop, I was becoming very angry at this. As I say, I was fairly wound up. Anyway, he overtook me and put his hand on my shoulder, and I went apeshit, spun about and hit him in the face hard enough to send him ass over teakettle, and resumed walking to the bus stop.
That took place during what I think of as my leather period. I had all leather clothes (black of course) and wore some really lovely deaths head arm band (which Sovay later made off with and lost).
I was at a Hollywood party to launch a book I had agented for a well known therapist. It was fun until one of the sweet young New Ager types accosted me and expressed her disgust with the way I dressed. She told me that I looked like I was looking for a fight. My reply was “If you walked down Sunset Blvd late at night, which of us is most likely to get attacked or grabbed?”
That just made her angry and she stated that she would talk her way out of all situations and reason with a would-be attacker.
I told her that dressed as she was, she was wearing a neon victim sign over her head. The sad thing is that two months later she became a victim. So much for reasoning with the nasties.