Sunday, March 29, 2009

Walking With Ron 5

Ron and I exited the Grand Central Market on Broadway and walked south.
"Walk with me to my place, Richard, then I'll walk you home."
He calls me Richard, the only person who does.
I call him Ron, although he told me flat out once that his name is not Ron.
"My names not Ron," he told me. "It's either Ronald or Ronnie."
"Okay Ron."
We crossed Broadway, walked through a parking lot to Fourth Street, and continued east to Los Angeles Street. Ron's box was nearby.
We entered his box, much more cluttered than my own. It is dominated by his bed and a recliner, which at the time was filled with clothes and bags of various items.
"Sit on the bed," he told me. Ron then turned on his television and began playing a DVD of an Eagles farewell concert in Australia that I had made for him.
"This is the best DVD you ever made for me," he said.
"Thank you."
"Every note just like the studio version."
"Yes, you've told me that many times."
"The only live version I've ever heard like that."
"And I've told you before that "Yes Songs," is like that too."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is."
"No it's not."
On and on.
"What's the matter? Don't you like The Eagles?"
"No. And I've told you that before too."
"I love The Eagles."
"Yes, I know Ron."
Ron forced me to listen to Eagle music as he put away his chicken and oysters, and broke out some tasty beverages. He offered me one.
"I'll just have a bottle of water. Thanks," I told him.
Ron's box is filled with food. Canned goods abound, stocked to the brim on plastic shelves, and piled high on the floor. He enjoys a rather expansive music system with multiple speakers. An oblong rug lies in the middle of his floor.
We didn't stay long. I have a natural tendency not to waste time, and I consider sitting in Ron's box and listening to him complain about what is happening at his work place to be a waste of time. He finished his business and we left.
We walked east, past San Pedro Street, back to Fourth.
As I've said, it is easy walking with Ron because you don't have to keep thinking of things to say. Ron will take care of that.
Ron will go on and on. His favorite subjects seem to be his work environment, his family, especially "the mother of my kids," and his children, how Baltimore is superior to Los Angeles, and anything that has ever happened to him. I tend to daydream while Ron talks, usually because I've heard the same story several times.
"You've told me that before, Ron."
"Well, there's nothing the matter with that."
Apparently not, as far as Ron is concerned.
Today I had him speak of something else.
"You said that you knew the guy who the police killed?"
"Yeah," he replied. "All of us at work knew him. A black guy. Worked at the cold storage company."
On March 12, just before six in the morning, this man got into an argument with his fellow workers, then left his place of employment, a large cold storage facility on Alameda and Fourth, with quite an attitude.
Driving a black sports utility vehicle he rammed a nearby Civic Honda where a couple were sleeping at the time. He rammed it several times, and the male occupant called 911 on his cell phone. Hearing police sirens coming his way the driver took off with the police following. The chase lasted a good ten minutes, with the driver of the SUV running into at least three police cars, tearing the door off one of them, and injuring several officers.
The chase ended at Fourth and San Pedro, when the driver made a wrong turn onto Fourth, and smashed into a police cruiser. He kept pushing the cruiser sideways, trying to injure the officer inside, when several police surrounded him, and shot him, resulting in his death.
"Man, that was definitely a bad day for that dude," I observed.
Ron and I continued, turning south on Central, headed for Sixth Street.
Ron invests a large amount of his personal worth on the work he does with the local homeless. He does not understand what I do. Whenever I mention my work he looks befuddled. "To what purpose," he'll ask me when I speak of my writing. And whatever answer I provide does not convince Ron that what I do is of any value.
That can be a tad exacerbating at times.
But Ron is Ron, and I except for who he is.
We ended this day's walk at Sixth and Central. We shook hands.
"I'll call you later," Ron always says at times like this.
I watched him walk away a few moments, then crossed Central to return to my box, and await the next time I go walking with Ron.

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