Monday, September 28, 2009

Fight Club

Last night as we began the get-baby-to-sleep routine that sounds like Jewel's lullabies on the ipod and the sound of cascading water into bath, we heard another very strange sound coming from the street. Brown dog jumped up to contribute his own sounds of 'hey! wtf! what's going on!' and we all rushed to the front of the house to investigate.

What we heard was awful, what we saw was worse. The sound was primal, grunting. An unidentifiable cacophony of dangerous sounds along with a high pitch of crying female voice. In the waning daylight but mostly streetlight we saw about five people in the middle of the street all grouped together. It was hard to discern what was happening at first, but then it became quite clear. Someone was getting the crap beaten out of them. There was a woman outside the circle wailing for it to stop, but also holding up her phone as if she was video taping it. To which I thought, seriously? Is that for the cops or because she had the foresight to get this for the rights to someone's story. Then there was another dude close by with his pit-bull between his legs, adding to the danger and despair.

Cute hubs had the boy in his arms, sporting the white-trash-diaper-only look. He thrust him into my arms and ran for the phone. We closed the giant door and I retreated to the couch to sob. BHB was oblivious to these events and kicked and cooed on my lap while I cried and cried as hubs talked to the 911 operator. Why was I crying you ask? It was this mental mix:

We can't stay here another day. But I can't take another move, or for that matter afford it. How can we raise a baby amongst this terrifying behavior? Is that poor guy okay? LA sucks. But I love the weather. I love this house. I'll miss my friends when we leave. My stomach hurts.

But I think it was really just the visceral reaction to violence that made me cry. It was truly terrible, and mostly the sound of it. It wasn't the Hollywood soundtrack of a punch landing and angry voices mixed in. It was, as above, such a weird mashing of grunts and the sounds of lost breath. I can't explain it, but as you can see I keep trying.

It was especially odd to close the door on that event and tune into Jewel's sweet voice singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' and the bright lights of our cute kitchen and the sound of a welcoming bath. We had to move back into normality to get the baby into bed and then try to process what happened. The police helicopter overhead didn't exactly help, and as the cruiser's arrived to quiz the neighbors (they didn't come to us) I retreated into the adorable nursery with the adorable child.

Once BHB had taken an enormous amount of milk out of me, I stumbled back out into the brightness and found that my body was suddenly weak and feverish. I went to bed without eating with hopes of kicking it, but awoke with what appears to be a flu. Well, not yet puking but all over body aches and sore throat and the rest. Officially not good times.

Sorry for the text heavy post. I've got nothing to show for the above, I don't think as fast as that girl with her camera phone. But hopefully something of a lighter nature coming soon.


  1. Oh noes, Jane. I have these moments in L.A. Perhaps not quite as pointed, but sometimes I see things (the Saturday night crowds that gather in front of each of the four pot dispensaries in a two block radius of our house, perhaps?) and I just think "Ugh! I can't raise my child here." I too have a cute house in a crummy neighborhood and I just don't know what to do. I wish i had something helpful to say, but alls I gots is "sing it sister."

  2. Don't blame LA for a bad neighborhood! There are sooooo many beautiful happy places here. Seriously. There are nice neighborhoods without helicopters and violence, I swear! And remember, all the kids I know who grew up in teeny tiny towns became meth addicts and promiscuous teens! Just playing devil's advocate... selfishly because I want you, BHB, and cute husband to stay put!
    I love you.

  3. Absolutely awful. Your house is so cute; who could have guessed such an ugly thing could happen outside?

    Half of me never came back from Seattle last week, because I can't imagine raising a child in this place, either. Ugh.

  4. Thanks dear friends. For the support as in 'amen I hear you sista' and the devil's 'LA's aiight' support. It's a kooky-ass thing to be here chasin' the dream, thank god I've got such awesome people to do it with.

  5. I hate to state the obvious, but according to My Dog Marley, it is time to move to Boca.

  6. :( sorry to hear that you had such a bad scare. Having kids can make you feel even more helpless against random acts of violence. It could happen anywhere and at least you do have good friends around.

  7. Wow. did you ever find out what the dealio was? Were there arrests? It is a mad mad mad world.

    A friend of Dean Lamont's :-)