I live right off Colfax, which welcomes a slew of interesting experiences into any resident’s daily life—especially in my alleyway.
From the front of my apartment, everything looks kind of quaint, Victorian, and a generally nice place to live—but from the back it could be completely different dimension. There are mattresses in the middle of the street, and somehow trash never seems to actually get into the dumpster. I’ve heard grown men sobbing outside of my window, woken up to the maintenance man getting into a extremely verbal, nearly physical fight with a tenant, and small groups of people blowing plumes of crack smoke into the air. Whenever I hear something even a little absurd coming from the depths of the alley, I stop whatever I am doing and scurry to my beat-up Victorian couch to see what unfolds (I also found the aforementioned couch in the aforementioned alley).
There are a lot of interesting characters in my neighborhood. Like the suspected drug dealer and/or junkie who comes into my boyfriend’s workplace with sweat and bloodstained sweatpants (I suppose the sweatpants are being put to their intended use) and buys the cheapest product they have to get $40 in cash back every single day. There is the 7/11 cashier who has to put up with people shoplifting when it’s too busy at 11 p.m., or me, who comes in once a week to buy those fancy flavored diet cokes and a $0.99 bag of microwavable popcorn.
There is the woman who wanders around like a zombie and often stands in the middle of the street, as if she is invincible to automobiles, with little to no regard of her surroundings. I wish I could be that detached.
Another fascinating character who turns up in my neighborhood grocery store is a strange woman with regal white hair but you are not allowed to say “Hello” to her, why you may ask, because the word “Hell” is also in it.
I’ve lived in the hot spot of Colfax madness for almost three years, I think the resident loonies have gotten used to me and I them. People tend to notice you if you are different, if you are different you are dissimilar to the rest, you do not meet the status quo. Even though the “eccentricities” of Colfax are a bit maddening, I don’t think I am much more normal or put together.