On Monday at 11:20, after an hour in the dentist’s chair, I stood at the counter and emptied my wallet, having spent more than I budgeted. I would be walking out to the county where my son was closing on his house, rather than taking the bus. As I signed the receipt a black customer—in this black office—stepped to the sign-in board a foot from my elbow, and announced, firmly, in a ‘stay away from me you grungy white man’ tone, “Excuse me!”
I did not recognize her, other than to admire her nicely-rounded, gymnastic-quality rear end stuffed pleasingly into those washed out light blue jeans. The lady behind the counter, not a native Baltimorean, but an absolute saint from the West Indies said, “Have a wonderful day, Mister LaFond!”
As I said goodbye and grabbed my backpack from next to the woman whose hatred was so palpable that she could not bear to look up at me as I put on my coat, without taking my eyes off of her hips, I noticed her ungodly spawn to my right. I turned and hefted my pack as he glared up at me with hatred—all nine years of him. I just looked into his eyes in an empty way and that hate turned to fear—the two emotions being close cousins—as I put on my sunglasses and made ready to face the day.
I was five miles from my destination, all of it uphill. I used to run this to prep for fights when I lived at the top of the big rise above Herring Run. Now, I thought it would be good training for my September adventure, and resolved to visit it often, the steepest incline in Baltimore City, which climbs a series of hills out from the waterfront.
I note that one third of the front doors are barred in this upscale urban location, some having been added since last year, along with many for sale and security signs.
A mile out I pass two truant hoodrats headed out with hoods and ski-masks to kick in back doors, which is an epidemic level crime in this area, a crime that the City Pigs are doing zero about—not even reporting it, like the County Pigs do, although the County Pigs reclassify the crimes to make them seem less offensive. I stop, stand and stare at the hoodrats, who pass me by as if I am invisible. The bus shelter has just been destroyed, shattered, safety glass everywhere.
Two miles out, I am at the base of the biggest hill in Baltimore, which runs from Northern Parkway to Hillen Road. To the left is the neighborhood where my Cousin Mary lives, which is suffering high levels of forced entry and home invasion. Before I cross Herring Run, I look to my left and see newly renovated, banner apartments, ideal for lower middle class folks and for hoodrats with housing vouchers. The apartment grounds are built pleasingly over the cleaned up streambed, looking idyllic.
I walk over and look down into the streambed and see two stone walk ways across which teen feet would find ready purchase. I look to the left and see that the basement and back windows and doors of the church have had steel mesh added since I lived here six years ago.
I walk up the streambed and notice that the two units of row homes which back on the alley which backs on the streambed, which backs on the rentals, have barred back doors. I walk around front and see that the front doors are barred as well. End-of row units backing on alleys always get hit first.
Two Blackhawks—or a similar military chopper—are headed over to Martins Air Base [help me out here, Bernie] lending a zombie apocalypse sense to the walk.
This is a hoodrat homestead, the means by which urban criminals and their violent spawn will be imported into your suburban neighborhood. Throughout my time mapping Baltimore with Charles, I have noticed that any housing development that left two or more acres of undeveloped ground, suffered the indignity of having a hoodrat homestead dropped in after the stand alone housing was sold. All of Baltimore has been ruined in this way, deliberately criminalized.
I head up the hill and am greeted by the sound of the police helicopter, which does a lot of duty in this area, and is the reason why Ajay moved before she could sell her condo at the top of the hill, because cops were chasing hoodrats through her yard constantly.
At the top of the Herring Run Ridge, as I walk across the County Line, on my left, are mansions and demi-mansion ranch houses, with their front doors and porch-level windows now bared. To my right is a hoodrat hatchery, a full blown hive of crime, in which not a single paleface resides—a barracks of dark urban soldiery in this paleface suburb—in which one of the ground floor apartments has been converted into a beauty salon! You see, the North American Hoodrat, lives in hives and warrens built around the need for their matriarchs to groom extensively…
Ahead, past the fire station, past the ball field, headed to the four corner shopping experience which is Loch Raven and Taylor, I see that pigs have a suspect as other pigs cruise around looking for an accomplice and the chopper circles overhead. The suspect is a 14-15 year-old-hoodrat cloaked in the hooded garb of innocence and ski-mask cap—the new warm weather uniform donned on this balmy winter day. Two prime pigs have him in front of the Korean Church, across from the hoodrat shopping center. These four shopping centers will be featured in an article or video, this spring.
The side of the hoodrat shopping center is tagged with new graffiti. That shopping center is where the stabbings occur. There used to be a police sub-station there. But the landlord of the shopping center, who had done time for cocaine distribution, refused to renew the police lease! When the sub-station left, crime in the shopping center tripled. I am at the DMZ, where the Baltimore County Police have decided to draw a line in the asphalt, to fight the battle that their masters will never permit them to win, because their masters are owned by people like the drug kingpin who owns this shopping center as well.
Young pigs are rooting under cars for hoodrat truffles it seems. I am soon past the ten-pig posse and into the nice area resulting from their hard work, and the fact that they threw Ajay and her neighbors under the suburban planning bus when they fell back to a more defensible line.
Twenty minutes later I am walking by the plantation house that Tobias Stansbury operated via the toil of his white slaves in 1695, noting that not much has changed in the intervening 321 years.
After considering 231 houses, my youngest son has picked the most defensible position he can afford for his little castle in the civilized sand. I wish him luck, for it is a requirement of both survival and success, when contending with a world designed to devour you.