Riot

(from a lost draft of a letter written in 1992 that disappeared from my neophyte fingers into the bowels of my C drive to be rediscovered much later, 1992)

The violence never came near our place, though the building I work in was right in the thick of things. Indeed, I was one of the last people to get out of the building before it got caught up in the rioting, mobs of Mexicans and Salvadorans, for the most part, swirling about looting and burning. Someone looking down from the roof of the building watched as a huge black guy drove up, got out of his car and smashed in all the windows of the Bullock’s Wilshire department store with a sledge hammer, then got back in his car and drive off. The locals  just swarmed in, stealing everything:  dresses worth thousands, art, jewelry. It’s an original Frank Lloyd Wright designed building and beautiful, but a warren of the obnoxious rich and it’s hard to feel too much pity but it’s always a shame to see such an architectural masterpiece so stricken. The next day— actually three days later, the area was a bit of a no mans land for a while— it’s windows shattered and tattered remains of drapes fluttering in the breeze, shit and rubble and broken up furniture strewn about the sidewalks I thought of those old WW1 photos of the stoven-in Clothe Hall at Ypres in Flanders, gutted by the German artillery. But then it’s always good to see things in the light of history; it gives them a certain perspective they otherwise lack— a three dimensionality if I may….  

You actually saw parts of town that are no more— the burning in the areas about where you had yer little accident were incredible— vast, like fire bombings in WW2. Hollywood Boulevard took a hit, too, and they stole Madonna’s bra, which is probably the reason that she had photos taken fucking that dog [probably not, actually.].

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