West Hollywood Pavilions, three or four evenings ago: Sitting on a curb near the middle of the main parking lot, right next to the rumblehog and facing the market, wearing my bright red James Dean jacket. Mostly phone surfing but also people-watching. Because I was unusually situated or because of the jacket or whatever, three or four people spoke to me.
A 70ish woman whom I suspected of being a tad racist and certainly under-educated began to complain about some younger Pavilions employees who “are clearly not from this neighborhood” and who speak with difficult accents. I wasn’t about to touch this one with a 20-foot pole so I just said “uh-huh,” “yeah”, “I hear ya” and so on. She eventually ran out of gas and walked on.
Then a friendly-faced heavyset guy came along, pointed at the four-year-old Bernie sticker on the bike, and asked if I was a supporter. “No, that’s from ’16,” I said. “I’m actually a Pete Buttigieg supporter…see?” I pointed to a Pete sticker on the rear case. “And a JFK supporter,” I added. “Because the Bernie people probably aren’t going to vote for Biden,” he said. “Who says?” I said. “I haven’t heard that. It’s Biden or Trump. Do they want Trump to win? After Biden gets in they can start agitating for the right kind of candidate in ’24, but they can’t not vote for Biden…c’mon.”
Then a black security guy came over and asked if I was okay. “Yeah….what, I can’t sit here?” Security guy: “You’re sittin’ down, you could be sick or somethin’. It’s my job to ask.” Me: “I’m good. I’m just breathin’ the night air for a bit.” Security guy: “It’s my job to make sure.” Me: “Okay.” Security guy: “So you’re okay?” Me: “So it’s a really odd thing when someone just sits on a curb, huh?” Security guy: “Someone sits down, I gotta ask.” Me: “I’m good, I promise.”