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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Love, Life, Hope

Despite the enlightened feeling the title of this post might bring, it ain't what you're thinkin'.

Monday afternoon after work, Caris and I were in the kitchen talking about the day. Our kitchen and dining room is toward the back of the house and we have a "wall" of windows (French doors) which overlook the backyard. Beyond the wall of our backyard, as I've mentioned here before, there is, for lack of a better description, a CalTrans (State of California Dept. of Transportation) access road. This road runs between our back wall and the wall that separates our tract from the 73 Freeway.

On this particular day, as Caris and I carried on a conversation in the kitchen, we both noticed some activity beyond the yard. I saw movement between the trees that grow along our back wall and Caris said; "Hey, there's people behind the wall." I walked to our back doors and watched for a few minutes, and Caris made a mention that Charlie has seen some kids back there before and they were playing with AirSoft pellet guns. No big deal. Bry and his friends have done that before and there's nothing back there that they could hurt. I watched for a few more minutes and heard what I thought was the sound of a pellet gun shaking. Then, I saw the group of young guys laughing and looking up the hill toward the freeway wall. Caris and I called out to Charlie and Bry who were watching tv in the living room. We were trying to be quiet so as not to alert the boys. When Bry and Charlie went out to the yard, I stood in the doorway and watched. Charlie walked over to the wall, looked over, and suddenly, to my surprise, started yelling at the boys.


Because of the tall trees along the wall, I couldn't really see what was going on and I was shocked at Charlie's outburst. So I called over to he and Bry; "What's going on? Why are you yelling?" Bryson yells back that they're tagging the wall behind our house with spray paint. Now, instead of taking off, these "Brain Children" start yelling obscenities back at Charlie. To which he calls to Caris and me; "Call the cops..NOW!" Over the ruckus, as I'm trying to dial the police, I can hear Bry yelling at them to get the hell out of there and I hear one kid yell back at Bry; "Fuck you, Faggot!" No sooner did that happen did I see a flash run by me muttering; "Oh no he didn't!" Following Bryson out the front door runs Charlie. I hang up the phone and follow these men of mine, fussing all the while to wait until the police arrive and not to confront these guys. I wasted my breath because by the time I got to the front door, both of their cars were blazing down the street to head off the culprits at the access road gate near the entrance to our neighborhood. Now, me, Caris, my cousin, and Bry's girlfriend Alexis are all standing in the front yard looking at each other like, "What just happened?"

Within a minute, four squad cars were at the entrance of our street and in the distance, I could see Bry standing next to his car, and Charlie walking over next to him. We wondered aloud how the police got here so fast when our neighbor came out and told us that he had been watching the boys over his back fence and instead of yelling at them, he had quietly called the police and then started talking pictures. It seems that he had seen them before, but police told him that unless he had proof, there was nothing they could do and they couldn't arrest them. So, needless to say, when he heard Charlie yelling at them from our yard, he thought..good, now we have proof AND the Cavalry's on the way.

We watched for nearly an hour from the safety of our front yard nearly two blocks away from where the police began taking reports from Charlie, Bry, and the neighbor. When they finally came home, they were in the company of an officer who jumped over our back wall to collect the paint cans the boys dropped. Of the five boys who were involved, two got away. Bryson returned like the conquering hero, smiling effervescently. Turns out, it was Bry who stopped the boys and held them until the police, who were right behind him, arrived. Of course, he was quick to tell us that he made sure during the identification process that the mouthy kid was the first to get arrested. It was his.."Oh yeah?" moment.

Anyway, as the excitement died down and stories were told, we went out to the back to see what they had spray painted on the wall: LOVE, LIFE, HOPE. Yeah, that's it. We laughed at the irony. They were great representatives of these three happy messages weren't they? All in the same breath as "Fuck you Faggot!"

Ahhh, youth.