You know, I'm a real idiot when it comes to spotting drug activity. For all the years I have spent in rough neighborhoods, I'm really not too clued in to what the guys on the corner are actually doing. I remember I was out on the West Side one day a few years ago and a young man walked up to me and said, "Blow? Blow?"
"No thanks," i said, and kept walking. Honestly, I had not the faintest notion what he was asking me. I thought maybe he wanted a blow job and couldn't figure out for the life of me why he thought I might give him one.
It took a few days for the slang to register. "Oh, blow!" I thought to myself on the bus. "Powder cocaine!! I'm a white lady so I don't want rock. Perhaps I want blow."
I have very occasionally seen money change hands, but have never actually seen the stuff out on the street. Still haven't done that, but I lurched a few steps closer last night.
Ironically, I was on my way home from Chavez Elementary, where a yellow legal paper stuck to the fence proclaimed: "CAPS Meeting Canceled." As I walked down the block south of the viaduct, I saw a huge black pickup truck blocking the street. One African American man was bent down and sticking his hand up against the door of the house like he was putting something there. Another one was on his cell phone on the sidewalk. I nearly ran into him for staring across the street (smart...not!)
"Hello," he said. Quite politely. Not in the least intimidating.
I kept walking very fast, head fixed straight ahead. Yes, I did call 911 when I got inside. Probably should have called the district tactical officers. I may yet.
Alberto told me last night he's seen that black truck around, too.
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