Indiana Angel

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Long Beach
Tags: , , , , , , ,




   Indiana Angel


So who is Jennifer Gordon and why do I care? Why the interest? I guessed it happened, while strolling down the Broadway Corridor with Old English firmly planted in my hand on late weekday afternoon. It was a routine I developed after exiting the grind of the educational 9-5.

       On that uneventful afternoon upon coming to the corner of Cherry and Broadway, I saw a weathered flyer on a telephone pole. It read in bold New Times font: Have You Seen Jennifer Gordon. It was crafted carefully with a black and white picture of the missing woman divided into a before and after section.

           The before half of the photo was a Midwestern gal with a Midwestern, medium build and happy, everyday smile stretching her healthy face. The second picture caught my attention. It was a thin, marked up face with long scratches and a NYC Police hat over wide bulging, insane eyes. She appeared semi possessed and I’d seen that look before. I’d seen that very stare in the eyes of those who hung out or near the Corridor.

           The wild, lost, and peering pupils with the power to penetrate glass. She was staring at me trying to take my soul, automatically drawn into the possible tale. I decided on that day to let it pass. There were too many pressing matters on my mind and I didn’t want to take on another.

           A week later I came by the same telephone pole and snapped a picture with my phone. I couldn’t forget those eyes that seemed to follow me awake and asleep. If they are the windows into the soul; I was staring into a demon glancing up from the pits. Yet, at the same time I felt sad. She was someone’s: sister, friend or lover. At the bottom was a man’s name and a phone number.

           Two days later I got the courage to call the number and ask. Well I really didn’t call. I text. The poster and the girl were now an obsession.

I sent a simple message: Hey how is Jennifer?

I checked my messages a few hours late and received a response. It must’ve been from the author of the poster.


Me: did you find jennifer 4:08 PM

+12604381745: Yes, thank you. Who is this? 4:08 PM

Me: i saw the sign. I was worried 4:11 PM

Me: on broadway…..why the signs? 4:11 PM

+12604381745: She came from out of state, was staying in a motel, purse and ID’s got stolen, and she was on the street. I drove 1600 miles to pick her up, but she lost her phone before I could tell her that I was on my way, and we couldn’t even communicate to make a meeting place because she had no phone and I couldn’t find her or reach her. Well, I have now found her and things are ok. 4:14 PM


         I though it was desperate but innovative. A shot in the dark inside a spiritually dark place, near the sunshine of a local beach. I’d heard that same story a number of times, while patrolling the Corridor looking for stories.

         My dear Baltimore came to Long Beach from Maryland ten years before. He got hooked on crack and resorted to male prostitution to support his habit. Last time I saw him, he was returning to his home city to raise his baby boy.

         A year later I found him pushing a shopping cart collecting cans. After that he was living in the park sleeping under a tree; his eyes bouncing back and forth like ping-pong balls. I bought him a chocolate muffin and called it a day. I remember my child’s mother giving me the inside information on the Broadway Corridor (or Downtown as the local like to call it.) She said people came down to that area seeking a good time and eventually succumbed to the good time.


Me: cool. I was going to do a story on her trying to find her. That happened to so many people. I’m glad you got here and she is safe, if she ever wants to tell her story i would love to hear it 4:20 PM

+12604381745: She had indicated interest in writing about it. What publication do you write for, and your name? 4:23 PM

Me: I have a very popular blog. I write story about Long Beach and the corridor. Sehnsucht… Is she still in LBC. There are so many stories like hers in DTLB, Let me know…. 6:41 PM



     He seemed to be the loyal friend to the end: driving all the way from Indiana. The overseer from the Hoosier state pursued her to the band of beaches and bum. I pictured him maybe an ex boyfriend. Still will hope of a future. Still with love in his heart. Hoping he still had a chance, when she crushed his atrium and moved west.


The next afternoon I contacted him again:


Me: did you get a chance to check the blog? 2:32 PM

+12604381745: I did, but she is going through an extremely difficult time right now. 2:53 PM

Me: okay i’m sorry to heard that. I went through the same thing and other went through the same thing out there. I’m happy she’s okay. It took someone to come get me too. I hope everything gets better 4:07 PM

+12604381745: Yes, I came 1600 miles to get her, but I told her if I’m taking her with me, she have to promise me no drama and no alcohol. I picked up last thursday from the detox, and by evening she was diving into the bottle again. I told her she was breaking our deal and I was not going to stick around for this. Since I left her at the motel room Thursday evening where she wanted to put on a drunken bender, she has gotten herself into a multi-car accident and lost the telephone I bought her. her left ankle yesterday was to try to get a stranger to help her get into Hospital. Until she realizes her denial and delusion are the basis of her refusing meaningful rehabilitation, she will continue down this road, and possibly died because of it. 4:13 PM

+12604381745: Typo….not “left ankle”, but rather, her last angle 4:14 PM

+12604381745: Sorry about the typos, I’m using talk to text 4:17 PM

Me: I’m sorry. I have a few people I have met out there like that. Either drug addicts or alcohols but where not that way when they arrived. I’m sorry. It seems like many people fall into that trap on Broadway. Thats why it interested me soooo much 4:33 PM


     That Jennifer seemed like a wild one, but her friend was way above his pay grade. The whole ultimate, one-man intervention thing was bound to fail. He was the last one on the short Rolodex of people to save her from the slammer. You get one phone call and hers was to nowhere Indiana to hit an up a desperate friend reinstalling hope into a dead fantasy.

       Thinking he was in the power position tried to save her with tough love. That love didn’t go both ways. I imagined him driving home solo. Occasionally, stopping at rest stops to take inventory of bad life decisions, trying to figure out why she called him in the first place. Desperate people do desperate things at desperate moment. The Indiana boy was never in control. He put 1600 miles on his car at the drop of a hat: that’s more like controlled

         Relax Jimmy Chipwood: She will not die. I’ve seen many in worse shape than she. Homelessness and insanity are most likely her future. Jen will find a shopping cart and fill it with stuff. She will live in the park near the ocean and talk to the other riff raff, while doing Meth resin from a plastic pipe pasted around among ten transients. Afterwards she will wait in line for free food on 3rd at the church.

         She will grow older, fatter and eventually forget her own name. Between routines of begging for change she will scream at the moon and blame her kin for whatever evil deeds happen in her past. She will answer voices no one else hears and stare at things not seen by this world.

           So Jennifer will not die but she did pass up her last ride home. You only get one savior in life and she left him hanging. He went back to their hometown and told the good town folks; it’s hopeless. She was lost to the West Coast Devils with their new drugs and old identities remixed to a new century brokenness. I wish the best for her and hope she finds peace and meaning. I would pray but lately I have found that ineffective. I’ve seen so many. Man I’ve seen so many.


4:13 PM

+12604381745: Typo….not “left ankle”, but rather, her last angle 4:14 PM

+12604381745: Sorry about the typos, I’m using talk to text 4:17 PM

Me: I’m sorry. I have a few people I have met out there like that. Either drug addicts or alcohols but where not that way when they arrived. I’m sorry. It seems like many people fall into that trap on Broadway. Thats why it interested me soooo much 4:33 PM


I’ll forgive yours if you forgive mine man from Indian…

  1. vivalaViv says:

    We need more people like you in this world Jude.

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