“You don’t get scared to be down there?” he asked me


At first everything seems kinda chaotic, as I walk down the sidewalk strewn with clothes and things everywhere on the ground, people walking by whispering if I want to buy drugs. There are many people sitting on the ground selling all kinds of things from toiletries, snacks, magazines, and cigarettes. It’s kinda like a Skid Row night market. One man calls me over to him, he saw that I was talking to a drug dealer and I had given him a candy bar. “Are you selling candy bars?” he asked. I reached into my pocket and gave him one and said “no I’m giving them away.” I introduced myself to him and I sat down next to him. He was quiet, laid back, and friendly. Growing up in Arkansas, he didn’t lose his southern hospitality. We sat together for a few hours watching the people come and go. “you don’t need to watch TV, this is entertainment right here.” he said with a laugh. He was selling clothes on the street, and had piles of jeans in front of him. People would come by and check them out, others would come sit with us and talk about the news on the street about how so and so got stabbed a few nights before or how so and so overdosed on some drug. One of his friends also joined us, who had gotten out of jail that night. Then another lady walks by crying, “are you okay?” he asks her. She continues to walk away sobbing, he turns to me and says “oh don’t worry about her she is tripping on some drug.” I take him to a hipster pizza place in downtown, as we are enjoying our dinner he asks me “you don’t get scared to be down there? I’ve never seen someone just sit down like you and talk with us.” I said “People are people, circumstances and choices may send us on a different path in life, but underneath we are all the same.” He smiled and sprinkled chili pepper on his pizza.