I just moved from NYC to L.A. for a new job. Even though I had financial help from my company, moving is still highkey expensive as shit. You know how it is, when your money is so tight you start dreaming about finding money, then wake up devastated when you realize you’re still broke? Dawg. Life.

So I was out here in these L.A. streets trying to find an apartment to live in. I’d just seen a spot that was just meh (thin walls…I could hear a woman next door getting her back blown out) and was waiting on my Uber to pull up and take me to the next place, when I heard a rusty squeaking noise that kept increasing in volume. I looked up from tracking my driver’s distance (6 minutes away) and saw a bearded man on a bike smiling in my direction.

Now, there are two types of bearded men in this world: Fine ones and homeless ones. And this one looked homeless. He was black, 40-50 years old with a gold tooth that beamed when the sun hit it. He had on a plain white fitted cap, an extra-long orange tee, and a pair of those oversized plaid shorts that black uncles wear to cookouts in the hood. Worse than the outfit were the man’s feet. He wore simple black shower slides, but his toes looked like the land that time forgot. Dry. Cracked. Desolate.

I was stressed.  I didn’t need it. I just wanted a place to live.

I pretended like I didn’t see him, a tactic that usually worked in NYC, but I guess L.A. guys are immune to shade because he said, “Hey sweet girl, I saw you over here looking beautiful and I had to at lease say hello”.  Did you though, Sir? Did you really?

I looked at him with the straightest of faces and said “Hello”, then looked back down at my phone. That was his cue to peace out, but that ashy foot stayed in place keeping his balance on his rusty Schwinn.

“If you’re not busy right now, I would really like to take you out to lunch”, he tried again.

“Nah”, I replied still staring at my phone (Carlito was 5 minutes away). Fuck outta here.

He adjusted his footing with an annoying squeak. “Maybe you’d rather take a helicopter ride? Say the word, I’ll make the call".

I rolled my eyes. This nigga. (4 minutes. Come on Carlito).

“Listen”, he said, “I know I don’t look like it, but I live in the penthouse of the apartment behind you”.  I looked back at it. It was the expensive-looking building next to the cheaper-looking building I’d just toured. “You’ll find that in this city it’s good to have friends with money. Friends who can help you”.

Can’t argue with that. I’d often imagined how nice it would be to have someone pay my bills simply because they want to see me win, but my high school economics teacher told me there’s no such thing as free lunch, and I never forgot it. Plus, this man was most likely a homeless beach-dweller and I had an appointment, (3 minutes away).

“I’d rather make my own money”, I said.

He sighed. “I wanna show you something. Come closer”. Oh hell nah. I just knew he was gonna whip his dick out and flash me on the street corner. I’ve been dating a girl since July 2015 so I haven’t even seen a dick in like three years and I wasn’t ready or interested in seeing one in 2017.  

But he didn’t flash me. Instead he unzipped a black backpack sitting in the basket of his bike. His eyes motioned down as if to say, “Go on. Look”. At this point, curiosity had the best of me, so I obliged. Inside the backpack were at least four stacks of hundred dollar bills. Now, I do direct deposit so I rarely handle cash, but that money looked real as fuck. I looked back at him, feeling the disbelief internally, but giving a face that said 40 grand is chump change.

“Like I said…it helps to have friends with money”. He grinned smugly.

“And like I said…I’d rather make my own money”, I said with the energy and swag of a boss, knowing good and got damn well I was going home to a PB&J.

The next second, Carlito pulled up in the Uber and I hopped in. Beard Man was still on the corner looking at me like I was dumb.

As I rode to the next apartment building, I knew that from a moral perspective I’d made the right decision to walk away, but from a financial perspective… ya girl was still on E. I still can’t stop myself from thinking I could have probably finessed the situation and got at least a grand toward this security deposit.

Since then, I’ve made myself feel better by boxing the situation into two possible scenarios:  One, he was some kind of drug runner or two, he really was rich. But, you gotta be some level of crazy to ride around on a rusty bike with $40K on you, right?  Right.

It’s a month later and I’m still trying to get my cake up out here, but my dignity and self-respect are at an all-time high, so there’s that!

Let me know what y’all would have done in the comments below and tune in for more L.A, as Hell stories right here on theGIRLMOB... also, feel free to let us know if you'd been a similar situation!

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