COMPASSION ZONE PUTAS
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
There are putas from time to time in the Compassion Zone, barely two blocks away from the historic Metropolitan Kansas City Police Headquarters.
Last winter I encountered ‘Pedro’ near the Diamond Shamrock. He was panhandling while his puta worked a customer in the big back seat of his dilapidated Lincoln. He also uses the car to deal drugs at the gas pumps from time to time. Maybe he has been busted or went somewhere else more lucrative as I have not seen him around for awhile. But there are usually a puta or two available at any time on the next block east, at the Cherry Inn Motel.
Besides Pedro’s puta, I perceived a plethora of virtual putas inside the Shamrock one Sunday morning – I dropped by at 7 o’clock as usual to buy a cup of coffee, a chocolate muffin, a copy of the Sunday paper. The store was deserted but for the cashier and a grizzly old fellow, who was warming up under the pretense of shopping – on Sunday, people do not drift into the Shamrock from the shelters and half-way houses to get their whiskey and play the numbers until around 9 o’clock.
A man, poorly dressed, short, with black hair, about thirty years of age, burst into the store in an agitated state.
“Call the police! I’ve been mugged!”
“Where?” asked the cashier.
“Right outside! Right there! A Mexican guy mugged me.”
“I’m a Mexican too,” the clerk responded – I thought the Mexican references were rather odd.
“Hurry up, he’ll get away, he took my wallet.”
“I’m calling now,” said the clerk, phone in hand.
“No good to call them, they won’t do anything,” said the grizzly old man, butting in. “I’m an Indian, veteran of the Korean war….”
“You don’t know nothing. You aren’t the police,” said the Mexican.
“I’m an Indian and a veteran of the Korean War, and I’m telling you, it does no good to call the police here, they won’t help you even if they come,” the Indian declared.
“Leave me alone, puta!” the Mexican was getting really hot under the collar.
“Don’t you call me a puta, you puta!” yelled the Indian.
“Puta!” the Mexican yelled and spit on the floor.
“Puta!” the Indian responded.
The cashier spoke to the police and hung up the phone. The angry exchange between the Mexican and the Indian continued, but it did not phase the cashier one bit. It was an ordinary event for the Shamrock in the Compassion Zone. That’s why we refer to it fondly as the S—- rock. It’s the only place open when the sidewalks are rolled up and almost everybody goes back to the burbs after work. Some people who live in the area want it torn down since it attracts vagrants and predators. As far as I’m concerned, it should stay, more people should move into the area, more stores should be opened up, and maybe the cops will look after the neighborhood around their headquarters then.
Anyway, having had enough of the childish but amusing exchange, I left behind another flurry of hot putas and exited into the frigid morn.
April 29, 2004
Downtown Kansas City, Missouri