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Day 149: The Gang’s All Here

Surprise visitors today! First came Bruno, the drummer from the LES DIY. He said they all worry about me because I told someone—he says he doesn’t know whom—that I hadn’t gone outside in more than two weeks. Hard to believe it’s been 17 days since I got robbed.

I must have come off like a psycho in tin foil. To start with, I couldn’t let him in. We chatted sotto voce in the hallway, our voices muffled by masks. I almost called him Bruno.

ETHNIC CLEANSING IN LA?I presumed he had come to pick up protective gear, but he brought me a big hot meal. I’d eaten a late breakfast, but roast pork with potatoes and greens was a scented mirage made real. I had to ask if this is really what they deliver.

He said the woman you and I know as ‘Anna’ created it specifically for me. Does Anna know the benevolent stalker? Is she the stalker? I had just finished concluding for the hundredth time that she can’t possibly be Evelyn.

Bruno says Anna is eating more, talking more. Sounds good, looks good. I haven’t seen her since Ric reopened his restaurant three months ago.

All this made me fat and happy till I read that Los Angeles gangs are engaging in formal military maneuvers. There were maps of an area that’s turning into an American Bosnia as young black, Hispanic, and Asian criminals strike at one another’s home turf. Inhabitants are being driven out with the expectation that they might never return.

This has evidently been happening for years between blacks and Hispanics. (Hollywood never noticed?) With Asian gang membership rising quickest of all—and less geared to specific localities—the H5N1 crisis is said to have prompted paramilitaries in LA and the valleys to draw their heaviest weapons. Encouraged by politicians and media to blame immigrants, they’ve all taken up ethnic cleansing.

The LAPD is accused of working hard to keep them all out of white ‘hoods. Are the Russian and Armenian gangs gratified or insulted?

Is this for real? Is someone sensationalizing minor events? It’s hard to tell from here. I wonder what the residents of LA think of their latest terror trigger.

Not that we don’t all have scary issues: I was googling LA gangs when someone banged on my door. I didn’t open up.

It was the bald guy I’ve never met from across the street. He’s heard rumors that I possess medical supplies. His wife is suffering chest pains, has a history, and the hospitals are inaccessible. He called an ambulance yesterday.

When I explained I had nothing for them, he waved a gun at the peephole and threatened to blow my lock off. The 911 operator didn’t speedily comprehend where I live, asked if I’m on the Upper West Side (East is the first part of my street’s name). It felt like I’d called Turkmenistan tech support. When I held the phone to the door so she could hear him, she hung up. Did his cursing affront her moral sensibilities?

I fetched a cast iron pot with which to mash the man’s cranium if he broke in. He yelled and pounded and bellowed and then vanished quietly. I don’t think he knows I’m the guy who used to watch his wife play piano before he nailed plywood over his windows.

I’m feeling sorry I tried to help my neighbors. All it did was blow my cover.

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