This one is for the Sheriff who didn’t stop me from taking pictures by the Metro station, but sure tried to. For the record Officer Crabby Pants: yes, I see that I’m on camera. It’s cool. Yes, I took a picture of a bike rack. No, I am not planning a terror attack. I’m walking over here now to take a picture of a tree. Nope, I’m still not planning a terror attack. Do you want to see my pictures? I’m more than happy to show them to you if you’re worried. Nope? Okay. Yes, I know I’m still on camera over here. It’s still cool. You just keep repeating yourself and I’ll just keep smiling and pretending I don’t understand the deeply insulting insinuations you are making. But now I’m really curious, what kind of terrorist activity involves a big tree and a bike rack? Does the tree explode with enough force to wrench the bike rack from the concrete and somehow destroy or damage a target? Is this the Rube Goldberg school of terrorism??!!? Also, the bike rack and tree were both fairly standard issue. If I was planning something “shady” (#pun intended) there are like a bazillion pictures online of trees and bike racks so… Nope, Officer Crabby Pants was just a jackass. He probably came over initially just to make sure I was okay and not receiving instructions from the mothership via the bike rack. (Or something like that, you get the idea.) Which is commendable. 👏🏽 But then he stuck around and harassed me. He made disgusting insinuations about my intentions, and repeated them when I refused to engage. 🖕🏽 I refused to be shamed, but what if it was someone else instead of me? What if the next person he stops from photographing a big, leafy tree with the sun shining through the branches feels embarrassed for drawing attention to themselves, feels ashamed that a member of law enforcement thought they were up to no good, of just feels less inclined overall to stop and enjoy/photograph this beautiful world. If any one of those things happen (and they are a helluva lot more likely than that farcical terror attack I described above) then I submit to you that he’s the potential terrorist, not me.
I want to write something deeply poignant about roads and bridges and beauty where you don’t expect it… but I’m hungry and all of my metaphors right now involve food delivery. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
None of us are perfect and some of us need extra help to walk or stand. Society can make that challenging sometimes. Today, for example, both a bicyclist and a skateboarder nearly took me out while I was using my walker on a public sidewalk. But it was the dudebro with a gym bag that slammed into my walker, and then told me I should have moved when I saw him coming that prompted this #rant. (Saw him coming from behind me? Without a “pardon me” or anything? Yeah, okay dude, whatever you say 👌🏽) Anytime I feel like I’m too broken to comfortably exist in a public space, I’m going to think of this tree. He (She? I have no idea how tree genders work in regard to the anthropomorphization thereof) can’t stand up. Everyone’s first instinct was probably to uproot and replace this guy (I’ve decided he’s a boy), and understandably so. But he just needs a crutch to keep himself off of the ground, he’s still beautiful. Someone at some point found enough value in Bob (I just named him Bob) to keep and accommodate him so you and I can walk through #tongvapark and enjoy the #flowers and #trees, including Bob who is never going to stand tall, but is already #mighty to me. (No jokes about my height please 😉)