It's been a busy few weeks here, though with my lack of sleep, I cannot recollect reliably what I've been doing. I'm looking forward to warmer weather, and perhaps a more predictable schedule for my boy in the next little while.
But with the warmer weather comes a whole new batch of problems, and frankly, I'm tired of keepin' it real in the hood, yo. We told ourselves when we moved here, we'd give it five years. And it's been five years. We don't have plans to leave, but it sucks to be so frustrated all the damn time. Especially in the spring, when my long-anticipated bulbs start to bloom, and the trees start to leaf out, and the birds sing in the morning, and it just feels good — or should feel good — to be alive. Spring in the hood hurts my freakin' head, you know? And I resent it.
We've had friends and loved ones tell us to move; we've had others to tell us to hang in there, because urban renewal is a big thing now, especially with New Jersey so paved over, and with super-expensive real estate (compared to other states). People will HAVE to come back to the cities, and they'll WANT to, we've been told. The shitbirds on the block will grow up and move away, and things will improve. That was the pep talk we got from a friend who also moved to a nearby run-down-but turning-around city, and we believed it enough to fight for our corner.
And, things HAVE improved. RIGHT HERE, right outside my windows. I'm glad for that, because there's not much worse than looking right out your door and seeing a pile of knuckleheads, so close. Even though my view is clearer than it was a few years ago, the problems still exist — we just pushed them back to their own porches. I AM an optimist...we did achieve something. It is success. Yet, the noise and illegal activities are a few doors down, instead of right under my nose. The only solace I find in the lack of changed behavior on the part of my neighbors, is that now they are adults, and when they get busted — and they will get busted — the charges will be more serious.
Our frustration was elevated recently because right across from the epicenter of shit on my block, another pack of knuckleheads moved in, thus increasing the radius of the shit-center. I admit, I did not go over to greet my new neighbors with a cake, to welcome them to the neighborhood, as we did with new neighbors, growing up. But I don't think it would have made a difference. Our new neighbors, apparently, feel more comfortable here than we do: they were so comfortable, in fact, that they had a huge party the weekend they moved in, that piled out into the street, and required a visit from the police to break it up. They feel so comfortable, that they had another party this weekend, and the police happened to drive by to go to a different address, and just seeing the one black-and-white was enough for a multitude of our new neighbor's guests to leave the party quickly. That's right: the cops simply drove by, and it was enough (hallelujah) this time, to break up the party.
I must be one hell of a nerd that I have NEVER, not once, hosted a party that required a visit from the police. I am going out on a limb here, but believe I can safely say that I never WILL have a party like that, not even here, in Trenton, where it is perhaps, considered posh, to have the police grace one's party. I can also safely say that if the police happened to ride up my street while I was entertaining guests, no one would sneak out my back door. Even if the cops happened to knock on my door and come into my house during hypothetical party, no one would leave. I am just guessing, but am fairly certain that I am not a total loser that I don't have any friends, but am just not cool enough to have friends with outstanding warrants.
It is so wrong, so unfair, so unjust. We've worked SO hard, to help this neighborhood, and it doesn't make sense that we should get saddled with another pile of human waste so close. It isn't a bad neighborhood, not really by any standards; anyone can have a couple of lousy neighbors. However, the urban variety lousy neighbor tends to be louder, and engages in more dangerous behavior. The lousy urban neighbor likes to put on a show for everyone to see. There might be some people who think this show is ghettofabulous; there are others — like me — who do not concur. I did not buy tickets for the show, and yet, I must watch. And it's a show that makes no sense; there is no plot, no character development, no dénoument. People are maimed, and die, in the show I'm watching, and instead of making drastic changes to avoid a similar fate, the rest of the cast continues, without much more than a hiccup — or, at the most, an oh-so-ghettochic RIP memorial t-shirt, or in the back window of a car — instead of talking to detectives, who might be able to help prevent the next senseless act.
Anyway, if these jerks think it's a good idea to display their lives so publicly, I'll continue to offer my opinions, and do whatever I can to not have to watch their idiocy anymore.