East Hollywood Blues

A Diary Of Life Among Millennials

Tag: Subway

They’re So Cute

The Red Line was remarkably calm today.

It was as if the Moving Carnival that is the Los Angeles Subway needed a day for rest and rehab just like when I had the Influenza of the moment a few weeks back that has laid more people low than the H1N1 panic of 2009 or the Spanish flu if you are in the overblown media frame of mind.

As we pulled into the Vermont/Santa Monica Station I noticed a late 20 something couple sitting on the orange and yellow colored seats, wearing the same Blue Jean jacket, white shoes and black jeans with identical holes in each knee, playing a game on identical Samsung Galaxy smart phones in identical cases.

I suddenly flash on my grandparents in 1977 wearing the same rust colored beige pant suits and my mother saying how cute they looked, which is what the Lady with the Shopping cart sitting next to them is saying loudly to anyone who will listen.  Then as we pulled out of the station, the Young Dressed the Same couple put down their phones and wordlessly started to play  Patty Cake.

Although taken aback by this course of events, I am still in the frame of mind to think deeply about my grandparents, picturing them discussing their daily wear together as they stood in front of their closet mirror not by sending texts from across the room.  Although now  I wonder if they preferred Cat’s Cradle.

The Next Day On The Red Line

The Red Line.  24 Hours later.

This time I’m going into Hollywood to do the hang with the Production Partner when a police action holds us up for a few minutes. A Meth Freak starts ranting about something and he has to go. No big deal. Welcome to the 2018 Opiate/Amphetamine Pandemic: Los Angeles Theater.

The train gets underway after a 10 minute delay and from the back of the train, the door opens and lo and behold who comes into the car but the same guy dressed in black, body armor, several mags on the vest with his holstered pistol. This time instead of stroking the barrel of his weapon he’s holding a brown paper bag and walking up and down the car eyeing people with an odd sense of calm.

Instead of freaking out and calling the cops – we’re moments from my stop at the Hollywood/Vine Station so I’m fucked if he goes Postal – I decide to turn to the two 23 year old skate punks with baby dreads next to me and see if they are as disturbed about this display as I.

Baby Dread #1 – You mean that guy?

Baby Dread #2 – He was in the car when the cops came in and left.

Me – And he comes back after they leave. Look at him. With all the accounts of Jihadi’s dressed in black blowing themselves up and what’s happened recently in London and D.C. you feel perfectly safe with this creepy guy in here?

Baby Dread #1 – Of course. He has a police badge on his vest bro.

Baby Dread #2 – Word.

Baby Dread #1 – And calling him a Jihadi is totally racist.

Baby Dread #2 – Totally bro.

Several other straphangers within ear shot agreed with the Baby Dreads, on which statement I had no idea.

Of course, the police shield in question was a tin replica shaped like an LAPD ID with the name of a different security company than that on his left shoulder badge which was different than the name of the security company on his right shoulder badge but hey I’m sure he works for all those companies.  After all, these are trying economic times.

Moral of the story: if you ride the Red Line that hits Vermont/Beverly Station between 9:20 and 9:34pm on any given night you are doomed.

Life On The Red Line

On the Red Line last night after my shift, I find a seat pop out Queer by Burroughs when I look up and see this fidgety 29 year old guy in a black kevlar vest, several mags of ammunition on his chest and a holstered pistol he keeps fingering. He has a nondescript security guard patch on his left shoulder and he’s eyeing the car suspiciously.

I wondered why I was the only one in the car who was at all taken aback by this guy and then it occurs to me that a third of the car is off their meds and rambling incoherently, a third is nodding off from the H they just ingested to cut across the Meth and a third just don’t seem to care this guy is eyeing them and stroking the grip of his weapon. However, due to the events of the past few weeks I start looking for a way off the car before he starts shooting.

The train pulls into the Vermont /Wilshire station and I run to another car where I alert two off duty MTA employees that there is a man in body armor, dressed totally in black with his hand on a pistol he is carrying openly. They glared at me until I sat in the back of the car as far away from what I was sure to be some form of stupidity coming at any moment.

I jump off the train, note the time 9:34, run up the stairs and call 911. Total time on hold waiting for an operator 2 minutes 10 seconds. She listens impassively for 30 seconds and says I’ll pass on the information. Click.

30 minutes later I get a call from the LAPD asking me for a description and where I think the man with gun is now.

“I don’t know,” I tell them. “Some place between the Vermont/Santa Monica and North Hollywood stations.”

“That’s a lot of ground to cover. We’ll do our best looking for him,” the cop tells me and hangs up.

I don’t know about you but I feel safe.