Why Random Guys Need to Stay Away From a Paranoid Bitch Like Me, Who Believes That All The Characters on ‘Law and Order’ Are Real

Yes, I’ve become more of a bitch since I moved to The City of Angeles so don’t worry, I’m not describing myself in that way for clicks or humor.

Los Angeles is a beast and certainly doesn’t resemble the haven I came to love over a decade ago — when I decided to seek fame and fortune as the younger more optimistic version of myself.

Maybe everything is shinier when the years ahead spread far enough to catch a break. Maybe the roadblocks that you skip over dip low enough for such challenges because you expect that courtesy.

Doesn’t the yellow brick retain it’s hue even when the wetness of your tears threaten to mold away your dreams?

To answer that question, I had to come back to the place that once armed me with joy and purpose. Of course we carry our burdens wherever we go, and the hang-ups that sprout overtime, eventually make it difficult to re-capture the magic of youthful zeal with the absorbent hustle of clarity.

So, back to the city of my discontent — that saddens me with the bright sunshine that dulls my senses each time I walk around and bump into trouble. There is so much to be wary of the moment the gate closes behind you. The streets are a deathtrap waiting to drain your blood each time cars zoom by — bathing you with debris.

My East Coast traits never translated here, but this time around, it’s war.

It was on a typical sunny evening that I headed into the vast wilderness — towards the gym — after a day spent programming titles like — “Spencer Pratt Reveals How He Blew $10 Million” or “Donald Trump Made Melania Promise Pre-Baby Body.”

It’s with pleasure that I submit to these mental chores for the sake of being able to afford the time to myself and to the things and people that matter.

Sacrifice is necessary for those who are too selfish to submit to the daily grind of emptiness without daring to create a gutter that will host clear, clean fun on command.

I demand to watch a marathon of Law and Order: SVU — while dutifully sifting though the rubble of content that is aimed to inflate your disorder while quenching mine. It’s a wrenching good time missing New York City through the visuals of brownstones and the hired pedestrians that roam without a bullseye on their backs.

It was the spirit of adventure and ownership that I walked to the gym with the usual hopes of drowning away the residue with the silence that only Pandora can provide.

It works every time. I walk out the door, feeling like I could race the birds in the sky or hitchhike the small planes that dip low enough for a viewing.

In this precious serenity of imaginative surrender — a loud noise perforates the joy.

This guy standing next to his car with the driver’s door open is talking to me as if he either knows me or is certain I will allow him access. The boldness of his public declaration that he noticed me walking to the gym earlier — caught me off guard.

His heavyset template, the beard, the eyes behind the sunglasses and the horror clips playing in my head from borrowed inspiration rattled my joints.

I gave him the satisfaction of correctly guessing where I’d been and what I had been doing, but by God, why did he have to ask and confirm?

Was he on his final hunt of the day? How long was he scoping me out? Did he start when I crossed the street or were the lasers enhanced when his vision was summoned by curiosity?

Paranoia is a healthy status that fuels the need to delay a tragic ending.

The burly fellow came into Starbucks after I picked up my snack. His entrance thwarted my exit. I claimed a nearby seat and took out of my phone. Placing next to my ear as I whizzed by felt oddly familiar and almost sacred.

Stepping into the now chilled air made me sweat with relief as I kept the phone to my ear and walked into the parking lot — heading to a car that I’m still hoping to purchase before I’m kidnapped in broad daylight — under the spell of a large White man who notices when I enter the gym — and sticks around long enough to warn me.

I could’ve been a freaked out White girl calling 911 to report the dangerous large Black man stalking me. Or I could just be a colorless woman who wakes up every morning praying for the opportunity to dramatize the scene that plays in her head — like an award-winning episode of an award-winning show.

In the real world, scripted fare isn’t a cover up for entertainment. It’s real life. The ugliness that surrounds us — and the people that assume the roles they never auditioned for — because they were born to be menacing figures — that watch and wait before saving the kill for another day.

Either way, this guy chose the perfect one today — but tomorrow will be another episode and whether I can control it depends on how crazy I become after the programming and binging end.

For now, there’s a car slowing down and a random guy asking me questions. Maybe I should answer, just in case…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store