My wife and I bought a new car. My wife is especially pleased with this purchase because she doesn’t have to sit next to crazy homeless people on the bus anymore. I figure, if she really ever gets nostalgic for the good old days of riding the city bus, she could always pick up homeless people in the car. Don’t worry, I’ll be the nice guy and ride in the back.
Being a veteran of the city bus system myself, I totally understand creepy people on the bus phenomenon. The Albuquerque bus that goes from our house to the University of New Mexico passes through the rich part of town, the ghetto, the trendy rich part of town, the student apocalypse, and finally arriving at UNM within twenty minutes of when I entered the bus. Needless to say you get strange encounters on the bus.
For example, I was proffered rum and coke from a travel coffee mug on the bus once… at 9 am in the morning. A homeless man was very proud to show me his freshly dumpster dived fries and unopened condom (He also pointed to a store in the heart of the ghetto that he claims in sort of a conspiratorial tone “has soda pop for sale.”). Meanwhile, on the very same bus line I over heard two young ladies discussing whether or not they would get a car that costs the same as my house for sweet sixteen.
Albuquerque is truly a strange mix of classes. While we were in college, my wife and I lived in a house in the ghetto. Our door was kicked in. Our bike that was chained to house was stolen while I was literally two feet away on the other side of a blinds shut window. We witnessed an accident where the driver tossed beer cans into the bushes than stumbled away. It was a neighborhood where Methlabs probably made neighborbood watches to watch for undercovers.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park (not a very big park mind you) from our ghetto house, there was a mansion that looked like an ancient Greek temple. Another mansion was nestled far from the street in a property that took up a city block. I even swore that I saw one of our US Senators hanging outside one of the rich houses once (My wife and I usually walked the dog on the rich side).
Albuquerque is very strange in the sense that the class divide is less a divide and more a mix. We do have our share of gated ridiculous communities. I remember meeting a guy, I knew in school and he invited us to his house in one of these communities. Let’s just say that he had an Andy Warhol original on the wall and his parents supposedly bought the house so he’d have a place to stay in college. Being a poor musician, writer, and filmmaker, why didn’t I stay in touch with a person that could probably bankroll a project with his pocket change? Meanwhile, in the same era of my life, I remember going to a party not to far away from the gated enclave where I peed in the bathtub because the sole toilet was monopolized by several puking and passed out people in an apartment that was discounted from welfare.
Albuquerque is truly an economic blend. The next time you go to Costco and buy large amounts of candy and try to resell them because you are part of a “youth organization” that is fundraising for a trip to Newcardonia make sure to have two signs. The poor sign and the rich sign. Either way, you’ll win.