Broke A$$ Rich Kid: How to Keep Friendships When Broke

getting-personal

(Allen Landver) #1

The next chapter in an extraordinary “riches to rags” story.

_`Broke A$$ Rich Kid is premiering at the New Media Film Festival on Sunday!

In Chapter 4 of Broke A$$ Rich Kid, Sid struggles to survive in a new environment and pay his rent, but one of his most complicated struggles actually has nothing to do with his financial circumstances, at least not on the surface. It’s the struggle to manage his personal relationships with family and friends. A lot of the humor in the series is based on personal relationships in my life after I cut myself off, and how those relationships were forced to evolve as a result of my new financial circumstances.

Something happened in my first summer on skid row, a violent incident that set the stage for a new friendship and showed me the kinds of qualities I’d be seeking in friendships moving forward. On the surface it may not have looked like much, but deep down what happened on the street to Sonya and I, meant a lot.

One of the first purchases I made when I moved to downtown LA (DTLA) was a used Bianchi bicycle. I zipped around on my Bianchi, exploring the areas under freeways where homeless encampments were established to see the ways people survived. The Flower District was made up of several city wide blocks and populated by warehouses and storefronts. It was used by florists from all over the city, including Beverly Hills, to stock their flower shops, and was probably one of my favorite areas. It was made all the more fascinating by the fact that it was smack dab in the middle of skid row, a jewel in a crown.

One hot summer day, I was showing off The Flower District to Sonya, a lady of society who I knew from wealthier circles, when out of nowhere a homeless man ran up to us screaming at me at the top of his lungs. Apparently the man thought I had stolen his bike, at least that’s what he was yelling about when he ran up on us. Sonya was alarmed, and truthfully so was I. This man was clearly mental, and severely drugged out. I yelled, “Run!” and Sonya quickly did, but I tripped, and the next thing I knew, I was on the pavement, crushing the pebbles with my palms, while the man loudly declared me less than a man.

For some inexplicable reason, the bike officer who was standing right next to us did nothing to stop this. I shit you not, I was convinced that I would be murdered right then and there, and the bike officer just stood there. Luckily, instead of stabbing me, the homeless man just continued to question my manhood. That was long enough for me to zip off on my Bianchi, and meet my friend Sonya at the police station, a mere hundred feet from where the whole thing went down.

I expected her to never want to speak with me again, but she was really nice, and still wanted to be friends despite the fact that what I had gone through was kind of humiliating. Her support meant a lot because of how nervous I was about losing all of my friends while living in poverty. Some friendships from my old life were eventually lost, but they were replaced by those who supported my transition to self reliance.

For more weird stories and unnecessary access to Allen, subscribe to the newsletter.

Allen E. Landver is the creator and star of Broke A$$ Rich Kid, a comedic web series based on his own riches to rags story in Beverly Hills.