As I ride along the I-5, I think back to my child hood.
It was rough growing up in LA, especially in the low rent neighborhood that I lived in. I remember coming home one day and finding my father home, well almost home, he was in the communal toilet down the hall from our apartment. He was sick, didn't know, still don't know with what, but he steadily got worse. He lost his job, then mother left hers to take care of him and we lost our apartment.
We were living on the street, shelters and soup kitchens became our lives. I joined a gang quite by accident one day, was even waved the usual initiation.
I was scouting for a soup kitchen that had supposedly been opened by a new group on the streets, someone called the Universal Brotherhood were housing and feeding the homeless of the area. Now I had always been big for my age, muscular, so I was the one to do this scouting because I was the one least likely to be messed with.
Wouldn't you know my luck, I walk right into a fragging gang war, but I don't know it's a gang war, all I see is three guys my size or bigger beating one that was smaller than them. So what do I do, I wade into the fight and help, and lo and behold the guy I helped was the leader of one of the stronger gangs in the area.
Within the space of an afternoon I was not only a member of the High Rollers but their second in command, and all because I stopped to help.
Being a member of the High Rollers definitely had its perks looking back on it. My family never had to worry about being harassed so long as they were in Roller territory, and they weren't looked down upon either because the Rollers weren't into the protection rackets or really anything that illegal, all they really did was protect those in their neighborhood.
In return for their protection the Rollers were housed, fed, and given the upkeep of the families that had no houses. Three dead bodies earned me those rights that afternoon and for the next four years, while my family got on its feet again, the gang kept us taken care of.
Suddenly I was jolted out of my revery by the staccato noise of automatic gunfire. I figured either someone was defending their place or some of my brethren were about their business. Either way I figured I would investigate.
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