“Hey Oliver, slow down a second.”
I stopped half a block short of 7th on Flower so my homeless buddy Stretch could put a torch lighter to the pipe in his hand. I call him Stretch because he’s almost seven- feet-tall and looks like he weighs one-sixty or less. “Stretch, you know I don’t approve of you smoking crack.”
“Oliver, I’m a homeless black man with HIV—give me a break. Smoking crack is the least of my problems.”
“Well maybe you wouldn’t be homeless if you didn’t spend all the money you panhandle on drugs.”
Stretch laughed. “Oliver, you spend more money on coffee than I do on crack.”
“I just dropped Kevin off at the airport, so I can come hang out,” Joe’s voice rang out through my iPhone. “Where are you?”
“I’m at Starbucks on 11th and Grand—come pick me up,” I answered back, wondering how I was going to get my hair cut at Salon Eleven and meet Joe in the same one hour time frame—oh well.
Some background: Joe, like most of my friends, has become rich over the years. And yes he’s good looking too—whatever. So, now that he’s sold his luxury mansion rental business in Sun Valley for zillions he’s decided to come back to LA, specifically Downtown to get serious about business.