I’m walking to work. This usually means I head down Martel to Fountain, cross to Fuller, drop down to Trader Joe’s on Santa Monica, where I get that fantastic pear and gorgonzola salad, a couple bananas (organic, yes) and maybe a protein bar. Then I swing back out to Santa Monica Boulevard and shoot East to Seward, hand a left and climb to Sunset, where lies Argentum Photo Lab.
Today I realize that somebody’s left a trail for me to follow. And follow it, I do, down Santa Monica to Formosa, where the trail cuts left, right past Jones. I follow it almost all the way up Formosa before it swings out across the street towards one of the houses there. I can’t tell which one. I’m a little disturbed, because the trail is a series of bloody footprints. Yes, it’s blood. Blood turns deep cabernet brown when it dries. And between the footprints (right foot only, it appears) there are numerous drops that imply the hiker who left them was bleeding rather profusely.
I’d like to think that the author of these weird, bloody stanzas simply fell off his bike, perhaps, or tripped over a piece of scrap metal and was walking back to patch himself up. But this is Hollywood. And I know the truth. By day, it’s a peaceful place. Sure there are the occasional crazies, those people who shuffle down the street claiming to be Jesus or God or Henry Kissinger, and maybe one of them even has a knife. But by and large, it’s peaceful. The night, I fear, is where the real danger lies.
Because at night the hapless pedestrian risk running afoul of — yes — the dreaded urban mink weasel.
Man, those critters are nasty.