Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ah, Morning...Before The Crackheads Are Awake!

Photo By John Hoff

Over these many months, I've learned a number of tricks to help me get by in a neighborhood which is revitalizin', changin' dramatically...but still has its rough spots. Of course, I have my "crappy clothing" disguise so I don't look like I have money when I walk around...calling 311, calling 911, picking up litter, or just going about my business. I also have a habit of hiding my identification and credit card in my SOCK, and I've been known to carry a "decoy wallet" and just a house key, instead of all my keys. But one of the best tricks I've learned.... to get "walking around" tasks accomplished early in the morning, when decent people wake with the dawn but crackheads and no-accounts are still asleep and probably will be until noon. Recently, I walked all the way from the middle of Hawthorne to the middle of Jordan to pick up a lawn mower, then all the way back pushing that mower like Weird Al in his funny parody song, "White and Nerdy." 

I saw children waiting for school buses. Nearby, I saw a hooker out early in the morning on Morgan Ave. N., near a salmon-colored house known in that part of the neighborhood as "the whorehouse." But as I pushed that lawnmower all the way back to the middle of Hawthorne, I felt safe in the "dawn's early light."

When my son is over for visitation, we sometimes spend time at the University of Minnesota. Morning light hits my eyes, I check the clock even before the alarm rings, and I wake my son.

"Get up!" I say. "Let's catch the bus before the crackheads wake up!"

Early in the morning is the only time I will ride the No. 22 bus with my 11-year-old son. I've seen the (how shall I put it?) "social dynamics" on the bus blow up before, as somebody wants to get off between stops and GOES OFF on the bus driver, then somebody else (usually a senior citizen) needs to speak up, then somebody else (like me) needs to tell Miss Thing not to go off on the senior citizen, and then phones of passengers come out in preparation to call 911 as MISS THING flips out.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: stupid posters of a child clutching a teddy bear are what citizens of Minneapolis/St. Paul have instead of actual order and decency aboard public transit.

So, yeah. I like mornings. But constantly I work to "push the peace of the dawn" all the way into the middle of the day, whether that be by blogging, by committee membership, by dialing 311 or 911. I figure I'm not the only one decent citizen in North Minneapolis who uses this little trick of getting tasks accomplished early in the morning. But I'm not sure if I've seen anybody write about it on the internet before, so here you go.

Sorry, faithful readers, not a lot of content got up today. Changing four deflated tires. Long story, but not a very exciting one.

Just, you know, THE USUAL.


Anonymous said...

**Of course, I have my "crappy clothing" disguise so I don't look like I have money when I walk around.**

dsiguise?? or not?

veg*nation said...

"my "crappy clothing" disguise"

well, i guess that explains why i've never been mugged, either, lol.