Robert W. Stanford
Ezekiel 25:17, Pulp Fiction
Along my daily path, by the fork, the chickens have fortified their ranks with bunny rabbits. Now late at night, what at first appears to be leaping cats, are rabbits. At least two dozen encroaching upon the fork and the chickens that reside there. Almost as joyful as the older dogs that bark upon my approach, only to subside at the sound of my voice. “It’s me!”
Of course, it didn’t use to be that way. Literally, years ago, I would leave seething canine ferocity in my wake down every Airport District street I would walk. Not any more, just the occasional bully dogs, we all come across no matter how many of our own shoe prints are etched into the dust which shall never be covered by sidewalks. Now, I leave broken hearts and whimpering in my wake, as so many dogs want me to spend more time than a passing pet and reassurance of what magnificent animals they are. But there is always tomorrow…for me, at least.
Not so much for JD Love, who’s memorial still graffiti’s Oregon Park appropriately for the surrounding neighborhood. Walls that many of us, probably including his own mother, are not looking forward to seeing be re-painted. Despite the murderous numerical references to the CA state penal code - 187...and Norte.
Now he is forever a part of the Modesto Airport District; a part of it’s culture. That is of course, at least until Nazi Joe Muratore, the sixty-two thousand dollar thief finally gets his way and has the entire 1.2 square mile area that comprises the Modesto Airport District razed in favor of a financial shell game to be forever played with outside investors and the actual Modesto City/County airport that separates us in the Airport District from the bordering area between Ceres and Modesto, aptly named, “No Man’s Land”. Two ghettos separated by Lear Jets and caviar. All the while, useless to those that are in reality just like us, is their fork in the road.
Pollo, Polo and Looney were standing outside of the now infamous non-tobacco front shop one day.
And then, just like every other day, dark clouds appeared and commenced engulfing the atmosphere with grief. One of us was missing - Lil’ David.
“Why pollo?”, he softly asked me. “Why did the cops have to lie to her like that? They said that they would protect her. And now look at David.”
Through his tears, it was not that I had nothing to say, but at this point, it would have sounded insensitive and uncaring for the situation at hand. Not because it was a rant against local law enforcement, but rather, because it would sound more like an “I told you so!”. It just really wasn’t the time for another political lecture against the ways of the tyranny that has now befallen us.
All just another piece of scenery stripped away from me, just like animal control always picking up the wrong strays. Or my neighbors that delight in killing my dogs. Taking something away from me that makes the Modesto Airport District a beautiful place to live. Leaving a tragically ended memory in it’s place, with much pretentiousness.
I have found it to be not just the trauma of these murders that take me away to a place of intense and bitter anger, but their repetition. Is this really what I have chosen to do? Watch everyone die, while trying to show them which side of the fork to take instead?
Seems pretty noble, since there has been nothing but sacrifice of every part of my being and rewards that seem rather inedible.
Walking past the fork in the dawn of a new day is quite different than two to three o’clock in the morning. It’s like night and day. No longer are there only the stragglers and scrappers afoot. Now there are the familiar faces. Faces I have greeted more than twenty-four hundred times.
Everyone knows my name, where I am going, what I do, what I eat - everything - with affection - just like David did.
They see in me, something they can depend and rely on - hope. They see hope in me because they have watched my struggle for so many years. They can see now, that the only way I will be leaving them, will be as their own family members leave them - as a murder victim that not even the Modesto Police Department gives a second thought to.
Copyright 2012 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.