not for you, darling

From the desk of growahouse... A letter to the "angry" woman on the bus last Tuesday.

At first I thought that your anger filled words about the city's changing demographics were the mere rants of a mad woman... the unabridged, volatile cursing of an irritable, misaligned, urban heretic...

In retrospect, it was a protective instinct in my subconscious that kicked in and inspired that opinion. I wanted to protect the over packed bus riders from your verbal assault... to protect the school age Halloween costumed youths from a bad example of how to engage society... but ultimately to protect myself from having to acknowledge that your poor delivery, does not negate the importance of your message.

In this city's the path of change, there are casualties. Those casualties are not numbers, percentages, nor forwarding mail addresses.

They are people.

They are you.

The influx of wealth to your Washington neighborhood, will probably mean, as you stated, that you will be pushed out of your home. I don't know what form that push will take. It may be economic through property taxes, rent hikes, or physically through new construction. It might just mean that the 1.2M condos on your corner with the Harris Teeter on the first floor will attract more people that aren't like you and you will be culturally alienated. I don't know.

What I do know is that people have more potential to grow and learn in diverse environments. I believe that your neighborhood will benefit from having the full gamut of incomes and cultures represented. Granted, that may not be what happens. Your neighborhood might flip from impoverished to wealthy over night, become a high end monoculture, and miss the boat on diversity all together..... but let's just say it doesn't. Let's say it becomes a diverse social/economic Mecca for various Washingtonians, old and new.

It still might not be for you, darling.

And I think that amidst a bus ride of stingingly inappropriate epithets, that was your message. Not that any type of change was inherently bad, but that any type of change... would be your undoing.

Your pain is not necessarily about the train that's coming... it's about the fact that you don't have a ticket. That is a lot to manage and I can barely imagine how I would respond in your place.... how I would respond if I felt overlooked by everybody around me... even everybody on this bus... ....perhaps I would shout so people would pay attention.

You might have difficultly expressing yourself, but you're not crazy.

I understand that now.