I’ve lived in Japan for almost seven years. When I went home to Orlando in October, it was my first trip back since 45 became POTUS.
When you’re the youngest sibling, you get to benefit off of the mistakes that your parents made with their older children. Through watching your family you learn about human behavior.
Like search engines and social media, it uses what it knows about you to warp your perspective. Its forever loving, sociopathic, opportunistic, and through comparison, its self-hating. Drama distracts you from revolting against its emotional hypnosis. It’s like 45 baiting “rocket man” and promoting white supremacy while robbing poor white people.
At home I got a bald fade at West & Kennedy in Winter Park. I don’t know where to go anymore. Gentrification has erected new buildings in place of historical ones.
“You wouldn’t believe the things I see,” the ticket man said, standing on the Sun Rail platform at the Church Street train station. People liked to talk to him. He was high-fiving young commuters that, if I had to guess, probably worked for tech companies.
Ticket man helped people buy boarding passes. He had to keep the homeless from sleeping at the station.
“I keep telling them, after 7pm, ain’t nobody here to kick you out. Police won’t bother with them, not after 7.”
He was from Chicago, but had been living in Orlando for the past ten years.
“I just don’t understand how you can have the richest country in the world that won’t invest in it’s own people. I’ve never seen so many mentally ill people just walking around,” he said.
From behind my sunglasses, “They getting boxed-in,” I said about the homeless in downtown. They built The Orlando Magic a new arena and put a police station on the other side of I-4. Food Not Bombs was purportedly getting arrested for feeding people.
The commuters didn’t want to hear about annoying panhandlers. After work, ticket man was expected to send them home on the Sun Rail, smiling. Before he meandered into preaching about the helpless, the blending of strangers waiting for the train was churning with the ease of soft ice cream.
Ticket man was concerned for his health, talking about feigning for a vanilla fudge Sunday.
“I found a great substitute that taste just like the real thing,” a young man said, leaning his bright orange fixed-gear bike against a column.
His substitute sounded like something made in a lab that was suppose to allow you to eat without regard to gaining weight. Some how it was organic.
“Naw, I want something that’s gonna give me a heart attack. That stuff you talking about take all the fun out of it,” ticket man said.
I was about to board the train. A hand came down on my shoulder. I turned.
“Take care yourself, now,” ticket man said.
In Apopka, there’s elevated houses with old people that, as we drive pass, still recognize and wave hi to the old lady that is my mother, sitting in the back seat. According to her, Mexicans are moving in the area. The houses haven’t changed.
Parramore was my father’s childhood realm. Since the late 1800’s, it was a historically black neighborhood, so was Hannibal and Winter Park. West & Kennedy is one of the few black businesses left, though I’m not sure how long it’s been there. You either gotta make an appointment or go on Saturdays. I got lucky. Somebody didn’t show up.
The barber gave me the freshest cut that I’ve had in over a year. Wifey be mowing the lawn with a weed-whacker.