Saturday, May 31, 2014

Army Protects Los Feliz

I love all things off beat of the avenue. Those out of the ordinary things that make you stop mid-step to take notice. Those things that ignite a smile with “Hey, I wish I thought of that!”

In the past I’ve been excited by ruby red shoes hanging across telephone lines in the middle of the street.  The first time I saw them I was at a traffic light and they were dangling high above my car. I took out my camera for a photo and was so enthralled with the mystery of why they were there that I forgot to drive when the light turned green.  The impatient car behind me didn’t appreciate my enthusiasm for ruby red shoes. 

The ruby reds have been replaced recently by hanging Teddy Bears.  They dangle above the traffic like pinatas for birds. I giggle every time I see them. 

Today while roaming Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz I noticed a small army figure poised on top of a parking meter.  I was immediately flooded with memories. This was the same army figure I had in my toy chest as a child.  I wanted to touch it, to reposition it, to aim it towards the enemy lines.  I wanted to be that soldier and be all that I can be.

I looked further down the street and saw other army figures on top of other parking meters.  They were all there protecting us from whatever it is we need protection from in Los Feliz… aliens? meter maids? actors? 

Was it Uncle Sam saying I Want You?  I really don’t know but I did have a surge of patriotic pride. 

Will the Los Angeles Times run the headline “Army Protects Los Feliz” in tomorrow’s edition? 

Other people were walking along the street and not noticing the army men standing guard.  They were too busy texting, chatting on their phones, and picking their noses to even notice what was happening around them.  

Who is the person who put their army men at risk for the protection of Los Feliz folk? 

Is that person my neighbor or someone I’ve worked with or even a friend?   

Was that person at that moment watching me from afar? 

Was I being video taped for some reality show? 

I wanted to snatch one of the army men. I really did but I didn’t.  What would I do with it once I got it home?  I’d probably display it on my desk beside my computer and autographed photos of Donald Trump, Milli Vanilli, and Monica Lewinsky.  I’d probably play with it whenever I got bored with writing.

But kidnapping the army is a crime, and I’m no criminal. 

I took a few photos and continued on my way. 

And as I walked away I hummed Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy… of Company B. 

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