alone in oakland

I was on my way to the doctor to get my drugs filled. I had only lived there for a few weeks. still in disarray over the loss of my love, my father, and my money. staring at the ground watching one foot go in front of the other. I noticed my new neighbor washing a car in his drive way. it was a nice car. I thought to say hello. I looked to him and lifted my chin.

"sup" I said in a friendly manner
"what the fuck you looking at?" he replied.

I quickly turned my head and went back to my business. I noticed a purple tear was tattooed under his right eye. I heard somewhere that that means he'd lost a close friend or family member to the mean streets.

i made my way to the clinic and there I began waiting in the hall to sign in. there was a young kid at the desk and he was taking forever. it took so long that the lady behind him finally spoke up. "you're holding everybody up"

the kid quickly turned around. he raised up his hand as if he had a gun.
"am I robbing you?!" he said with his hand in her face.
"I didn't say you was robbin nobody"
"you said I'm holding everybody up!" he aimed his hand at the rest of us
"I didnt say you was robbin nobody. I said you're holding up the line"
"dont fuck with me bitch."

the kid turned around and picked up an empty trash can from the floor lifting it over his head.

"I'll smash you bitch! I'll smash you!"
the lady moved away from him with her walker "I'm calling 911"
the kid dropped the trash can.
"Call em! long as you tell em what really happened"
"ma'am. ma'am. can you please wait over here?" the receptionist pleaded
the kid paced back and forth across the room yelling into her phone.

"Tell em what really happened. Tell em what really happened"
"Ma'am? please. can you just wait over here while I get through with him?"

about an hour passed and I finally got signed in. I walked down the long and winding hall way. pictures of Obama Everywhere. and pictures of black children posing as professionals. a singer. a cop. a fireman. along the halls there were people who had who were worse for wear. their heads sunk into their hands looking miserable as can be. everyone waiting for their number to be called. waiting and waiting. takes some getting used to.

I finally got to my doctors office and found the door was shut and the lights were off. so I sat in one of the empty seats that were set out in the hall. sitting patiently in the darkly lit hall as one by one the hall cluttered up with people. the seats filled up quickly and soon they began jabbering. "how come you didn't come to jammals funeral?" the lady sitting next to me asked a woman standing up.

"I didn't know your son had got keeld."
"it was last week over at hetchinson valley."
"Which one was he?"
"he was my second. he just turned 18. he got shot over uh what they call dem?" she asked her husband sitting next to me. he was in a wheelchair "bloods and crips" he replied sanctimoniously.
"yea he was at a party and one of the other gangs.. or which one was he in bobby?"
"he wasn't with no gang he was just over there partyin." he looked at his legs
"and a bunch of boys from another gang showed up and just started opening fire on everybody that was there. and my son turned and tried to run and he got one in the back. and it keeld him. and his girlfriend got one in the butt."
"yea aint that some shit. he gets one in the back and gets killed and she just gets one in the ass".

I guess he'd prefer they both been killed. rather then just his son.

when I finally got in to the office which was just another waiting room I sat. and waited some more. eventually it was lunch time. 4 hours I'd waited thus far. they closed the door and locked it and left me in there assuring me I would be seen. so there I sat reading my book. some elderly women sat across from me. I couldn't help but over hear them speaking to one another.

"I've got jesus in my life." one started. "I know everythings gonna be alright as long as I just keep on lovin jesus. I've got the holy bible in every room. I call it HBO. the Holy Bible. yes ma'am. I got HBO in every room. the holy bible." the other one asked kindly what it was she was being seen for. "well I got this achin pain in my vaginal area. and it weren't from no donkey dick nigga either! I dont go messin round. no ma'am" at the desk was an enormous woman bent over talking to the receptionist. her head almost touching the celiing. her ass stretching out from wall to wall.

"I need to see the doctor. he needs to give me a prescription for a cream that I use. It's for my herpes. yea. it's a cream that I use. so Its important that I see him today." she turned around. not a bad looking face. but terrifying from the neck down. she stood in front of me looking into the glass window that peered into the hall. she was looking at her reflection and fixing her hair. I sat behind her reading my book. or at least trying to. she turned and started flapping her arms to loosen up the sleeves on her jacket. "will you pull this for me?" she asked in a promiscuous tone. slowly and carefully I did my best to pinch the very end of her sleeve with the fore tips of my finger and thumb. she pulled out the other way. folded it and then squeezed into the seat next to me in the empty room. "whoo. its hot in here." she said as she fanned her face a little with her hand. after cooling off a little she turned to me and asked " so you from around here?"

"mr. ellington?" the door opened. the nurse holding my file.

I bolted out of my seat into the hall where she pointed me to yet another waiting room. where I would finally get to see the doctor. and not a moment too soon.