(Corona, CA) —“You killed my little sister and my mother, dad, I will never forgive you. You are sick in the head,” an older woman mutters loudly as she folds her clothes and organizes them carefully in a plastic red shopping cart. As she sits on a sunny Saturday in Corona City Park as passersby ignore her.
The 110-year-old City Park also looks ignored as if it hasn’t received maintenance in months. Plastic bags, beer cans, picnic blankets, used toilet paper, laying bikes, dozens of backpacks, shopping carts, ragged clothes, and shattered glass decorate the park’s grounds. The tables, benches, and concrete floors are stained and covered with garbage.
The basketball courts, playgrounds, kiosks, and other recreational spots are empty except for the homeless people. Everyone seems to be on edge.
At one kiosk eight people gather. The only woman wearing a black t-shirt with ‘Straight Outta the Library,’ logo, argues heatedly with a man feeding her cookies to his tricolored Terrier. “Puto was hungry” the man says in defense while grooming the dog which name translated to English means ‘faggot.’ “I’ll go to the restroom,” says the woman, and she walks away carrying her backpack, leaving behind on her table five Bacardi mini-bottles, cigarette butts, pieces of clothing, and a large cased knife. The man lays down on a table, cuddling his Terrier dog. As she leaves, only the noise of the cars and motorcycles traveling down 6th Street can be heard.