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Writings from the Road II: Busrides in LA

March 22: Having finished my word-processing shift at one in morning I rode the last bus to my stop not far from home, stepping off the bus into the haze.

Heading in the direction of my apartment I somewhat drowsily became aware that my path was carrying me squarely into a flurry of law-enforcement activities comprisedPuh-lease! Consult 'Un-Twinned at Last' under Usage, to your right. of crouching uniformed men, cocked cars in the road reflecting flares and thrumming with an incomprehensible megaphoned voice, all lit from above by the beam of a hovering helicopter. Hmm, I thought I must have stepped off the Fellini-movie bus and walked right into another one. Movie, that is. Definite oblivioidNeologism there—a done made-up word. Not for formal works, but word-playful people might appreciate the neologist. behavior.

Collective attentions seemed focused on an apparently uninhabited house, whose black streaks emanating from the dark windows at first made me think that a bomb had gone off thereNot only awkward but 'nonstandard' to attribute the possessive pronoun 'whose' there; better to begin anew (sentence, that is): "house. Scorch-marks emanating from blackened windows made it look as though an explosion had occurred there." . Accordingly I ambled up to an un-uniformed young man crouching behind a Volkswagen to find out, and was cryptically informed that standing unprotected in that area was not advised, as shooting had veryLose the adverb. Lose most adverbs, unless you like the puff effect. recently been traded. Oh. This was not a movie, then. Two men, he told me once my level speedily assumed an approximation of his, had been reported breaking into the already burned-out house; on arrival of the police one had been captured without fanfare, but his companion had chosen to shoot.

The scene took place a block and a half from my place, and prevented me from continuing'impeded my path'—nothing grammatically wrong with the sentence as is; this is just more concise (why isn't 'conciser' an acceptable word?) home; hence I had the opportunity to watch the fairly uninspiring remainder of the stalemate for several more chilly minutes until, apparently, everyone got tired and left, no recalcitrant transgressor having been captured.

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