By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
"I'm going to open the window and tell those fuckers to shut up," I say. He mumbles something like, "Yeah, that's probably a good idea," then sinks his head into the pillow trying to get back to sleep.
I thrust the window open, practically dislocating my arm, then stick my face out into the darkness where I know I can't be seen but pretty damn sure I can be heard.
"WHAT KINDA FUCKING DRUGS ARE YOU DOING THAT YOU'RE STILL UP AT 6 O'CLOCK IN THE FUCKING MORNING?!"
"HEY! FUCK YOU!"
"NO! FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! IT'S 6 O'CLOCK IN THE FUCKING MORNING! DO YOU KNOW WHAT FUCKING TIME IT IS?"
"UH NO, WE DON'T HAVE A WATCH."
"OH, THAT'S REAL FUCKING CUTE. WHY DON'T YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP AND TAKE IT INSIDE AND CLOSE THE FUCKING WINDOWS?"
"HEY YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP. I LISTEN TO YOUR DRUNK ASS ALL WEEK. WE'LL KEEP PARTYING AS LONG AS WE WANT." Cheers emerge from the background after this exchange, followed by the comment, "She could have asked nicely," then a chorus of "Yeah, yeah."
"WELL FUCK YOU, I DON'T FUCKING CARE. IT'S 6 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND I'LL CALL THE FUCKING POLICE IF YOU DON'T SHUT THE FUCK UP."
"GO AHEAD. CALL THE FUCKING POLICE."
"OKAY MOTHERFUCKERS. FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING INCONSIDERATE FUCKING ASSHOLES."
I slam the window shut and realize that I've never used the word fuckso many times in one exchange. My boyfriend is aghast but silent. I can see his expression in the dark. He had no idea my request for quiet would end up like that. Neither did I. I'm shaking -- I've never done anything like this before in my life.
I sleep off and on for the next few hours, try to read the Sunday paper and keep asking my boyfriend if what I did was okay. He says he overheard our neighbors talking about my outburst -- saying "Shut the fuckup" in a mock Southern accent. He suggests maybe I shouldn't have used all that profanity right away, that maybe I could have handled it better.
I know he's right, but at breakfast that morning I recount the event to my boyfriend's 15-year-old son and a friend, playing the neighbors as first-rate assholes from the beginning. Son voted I was in the wrong. The friend agreed that maybe I reacted too hastily and should have more politely mentioned my dism.ay earlier in the morning when I'd first shut the windows. My boyfriend just wants to stay out of this now.
Meanwhile, I'm miserable with my new role as the neighborhood cop. I'm not against people having a good time. The truth is, I'm somewhat of a lush myself. Although I've slowed down a bit, seeing the sun rise at parties is not a strange event for me. I've had windows slammed on me and neighbors at my door ever since I can remember. Once I had to throw the cops out of my house because they ended up staying and picking up on the dames.
What bothers me most, I think, is the whole idea of a scene moving into my neighborhood. My new neighbors represent the recent influx of young people ä to Echo Park from all over, especially S.F. and N.Y., seeking out cheap rent. I moved to Echo Park in part for the cheap rent too, but mainly because this is a neighborhood I've always liked. It's a centralized, Latino community that's easy to hide in. I'm used to mariachi music till all hours of the morning, the local Latino radio station blaring out of windows all weekend long, and fireworks starting as early as May and going nonstop until well after July 4. None of that has ever bothered me. Now I see all these artsy young white people moving in, along with art galleries, coffee shops, bookstores, rave clubs, film co-ops, poetry readings -- it's a scene. Next, Sunset Boulevard's funky fashion boutiques and botanicas will be replaced with The Gap and Starbucks. I've lived here some time now, and all of the sudden it happens to be one of the coolest places to live. It feels like I'm in a tourist trap. Go to Hollywood and mingle with the moguls, I want to scream. There's still plenty of loft space downtown, go there. Party on at the Standard.
Which is why I'm all the more amazed when my neighbors come over later that day, apologizing profusely about the disturbance. I apologize too. Perhaps I did judge too hastily.
This week has been quiet. My drunk ass chilled, and the rave club must have moved to someone else's house. I hope they didn't encounter square neighbors.
STAR SEARCH: Washed Out in Echo Park
"HEY, YOU KNOW WHY I'M HERE?" asks Robb Fulcher, a would-be sitcom writer and standup comedian starring on the makeshift stage in front of the bathroom at Lucy's Laundrymart on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. "I'm practicing for tomorrow night's show -- I'll be standing on the freeway and screaming out punch lines into traffic."