Friday, March 18, 2011


I don't know why I remember certain things when I remember them, but some memories pop up and make me smile. Earlier I was thinking about when Uraeus and I lived in the jungle (and for those of you who don't know, the jungle is an area in South Central Los Angeles. I know you wanna believe I'm artsy and eccentric enough to live in the real jungle with my child, but no.) Anyway, we were living in the jungle and the way my apartment was laid out was like this: the one bedroom was for Uraeus and was in the rear of the apartment, the dining room I created for my bedroom which was next to the kitchen and the living room was my studio / office / tv room / library / living room. It sounds busy, but it worked. 

On the night that I am remembering, my nephew, Reuben spent the night with us. Uraeus slept in the bed with me and Reuben slept in Uraeus' room. Reuben woke up in the middle of the night I guess confused about where he was (I get that way now, a lot.) he stared half asleep half awake walking around and went out the front door. Now, let me say here that going out the front door in the jungle can be a dangerous experience for anyone at anytime, but especially for a young boy in the middle of the night who was not even completely awake. I'm usually a very light sleeper, especially when I have little ones in the house with me, but either he was extra quiet or I was extra tired. 

Reuben opened the door and started to walk downstairs. As usual, there were men hanging out in the stairwell and outside. The men were Country and his crew. In the short story that I wrote for WOMEN IN THE VILLAGE GO 'ROUND AND 'ROUND called The Jungle Story, one of the characters is named Country and that character is loosely based on Country, my neighbor. 

When one of the men saw Reuben, he brought him back up to my place. Reuben had left my door wide open and my bed was easily visible from the front door. The guy walked Reuben into the apartment but didn't want to scare me and so went back to the door and knocked and yelled until I woke up. 

That memory makes me smile because of all of the foul stories told about being in the jungle, the guy didn't touch me or the kids or steal anything or anything like that. He just made sure my nephew was inside safely and made sure I wasn't spooked in the process. Now had that been on some movie, in the same location, you know all kinds of crazy stuff would have happened. That's because, in my opinion, the movies don't portray the very human sides of how we live.

Well the next morning, Reuben didn't remember anything and Uraeus had slept through everything so when I told the story to them they laughed the whole way through and I ended up sounding like the crazy mom / aunt with the funny stories.

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