I’ve been in denial for awhile, but it’s time to admit it. My neighborhood has become a ghetto.
When I first moved in, it was a simple, quiet gated community on the edge of a wealthier town. Most of the people who lived here were middle-class, white collar workers who spent their days in the offices right up the street. Even when the signs started to appear that this place was going down hill, I ignored them.
When one of my neighbors tried to burn his girlfriend’s apartment down, while completely stark naked I just said “Hey, it’s already hot enough here. If you’re going to light a fire, you need to stay cool.” When a man got into a police standoff a few blocks over, complaining that he was getting messages from the children’s show, “Yo Gabba Gabba” I took it as par for the course in being a Floridian.
When a man drove his car into the 2 foot retention pond and tried to commit suicide, I just assumed he was really bad at suicide.
But I can no longer ignore it, the way I’ve ignored the fact that my neighbors are drug dealers. I can no longer ignore it, because just this morning, I saw ‘ghetto mattress”.
Ghetto mattress never happens in a nice neighborhood. You don’t hear about a lot of residents in Coconut Grove calling the city to have someone’s 16 year old posturpedic removed. No, a mattress on the side of the road happens only where no one really gives a fuck.
Let’s explain the evolution. A ghetto motherfucker wakes up one morning and realizes he needs to get rid of his mattress. Maybe it’s filled with burns because of his crack pipe. Maybe his Rottweiler peed on it. For whatever reason, the mattress is persona-non-grata in his one bedroom apartment.
So here is what he does. He drags the mattress outside and tosses it on top of his 1998 Honda Civic. You know the one. It has a sound system that’s worth more than the car, pitch black window tint and spinning rims.
He makes it about 25 feet with the mattress on top of his car, before he slams on his brakes and the mattress goes flying and lands in what will be its final resting place. This guy then gives himself a hearty pat on the back and walks away, saying ‘well, the mattress is society’s problem now”.
Ghetto mattress will never be moved. It will sit on the side of the road, being used as a trampoline by ghetto motherfucker’s children and as a waste disposal unit for feral cats. It will sit there for decades, and everyone who drives past it will say ‘who the hell just leaves a mattress on the side of the road?”
Eventually, ghetto mattress will get some friends. He might get some ‘ghetto tires’, or one of those old steel barrels that bums use to light fires in. He might even get a few more mattresses.
Homeless people will discover all these wonderful mattresses for sleeping on, and all these wonderful tires for sitting on. They will make fires in the discarded steel cans until the area where ghetto mattress started looks a lot like this.
Yes, I’m saying it. The journey to having a homeless camp in your back yard begins with one solitary mattress. So it’s looking like it’s time to move again. On the upside, at least I know what to do with all my old mattresses.