Sometimes I can’t sleep.  I’ll get up around 2 or 3am, dress in a good suit – a Varvatos, maybe, and before leaving the house I’ll put on one of my five Cartier Rolex watches. I love Cartier. Their official promotional text says: “Cartier is a brand that projects luxury living from the outset.” That’s an image I’m proud to say I embrace.

Then I’ll get in the car. I’ll check myself in the rear view mirror, make sure I’m looking good, and I head to one of the bad parts of town, one of the areas someone driving a car like mine has no business going to. I have a police radio in my car, so I’ll check in every once in a while, find out which area is a current crime hot spot, and that’s where I’ll go. I usually find a gas station or a strip mall, and park up where I’ll be nice and visible. I want everyone around there to see me.

I mean, just one look at my car will tell you I don’t belong there. You see, I’m a realtor, and being a realtor in LA is all about what you pull up in.  I mean if you drive the wrong car in this town, people look at you like you’re a piece of shit. I drive a Maserati Granturismo because I want people to know that I live the dream every day. Its an aggressive choice but I have a strong personal belief in honesty. I can spend about 45 minutes talking about my car with a client, that’s how much I care about it: it isn’t the horsepower or the speaker system, its the feel and the spirit that it projects that attracts me. Its the way people look at me when I get out. I smile and they know I’m going to sell them a house.

When my hand comes out for them to shake, its got a Cartier Rolex like this one around the wrist. A Cartier watch says: I matter. In this world you’re either a Winner or a Losers, and well, you can guess which I am.

But I’m getting off track. Don’t let me. Its that personal belief in honesty of mine again getting me carried away.

The watch is why I’m telling you this, because I’ll have the same Cartier watch round my wrist while I get out of my car in the wrong side of town.  I’ll walk a few blocks, making sure everyone around there at that time of night gets a good long look at my Cartier.

Everyone wants what they don’t have, and at some point someone will try to rob me.

That’s when I bring my gun out.

At home I’ve got a cabinet with five guns.  I’ve got a Glock, a Sig Sauer, a Ruger if I’m feeling like I really need to let off steam, a couple others.

These lowlifes will come at me one second, and the next they’ve got my Ruger in their faces and I’m telling them to suck on it if they want to live. They always run away, and the rush carries me all the way back to my bed in Orange County. You really ought to try it.

I started out on Skid Row just East of the nicer parts of Downtown LA where the expensive restaurants are, walking around the disgusting tent city where the homeless live, waiting for one of those Losers to try for my Cartier so I could give them a look at my gun.

Thing is, once you sell a million dollar house, you start to think about selling a house that’s worth 3-5. After a while, those homeless guys were so pathetic, they started to make me even feel sorry for them. I mean when someone’s trying to rob you and you can smell their shit — I needed more of a challenge.

Now I mainly hit the 110, and head South, getting off the freeway around Florence or Gage Avenue, and drifting around the dark streets down there, finding a spot, parking up and then walking around till something happens.

So last week I run into this group of hardcore bangers before I even park, surrounding me. I just played dumb like I was some rich USC ex-fratboy douche bag lost in the wrong part of town. When I put my hands up, I made sure I let them get a good look at my Cartier just like I do when I sell a million dollar house.

Next thing I know they’re pulling a submachine gun on me, telling me take the watch off my wrist, and then telling me I have to suck their dicks one after the other if I want to live.  It was so perfect, because I play scared, pleading, getting out of the car.  I told them I had money in the trunk, because I just sold a house up in the Hills for cash, so they let me open it….

And that’s when I brought up my AK 47.

I said I had five guns. The AK’s my favorite.

I took their weapons off them, told them to run. In the end, they were the ones got jacked, not me. Here’s the funny part: some civilian filmed the whole thing.  My AK in their faces, them backing away.  You might have seen it on YouTube. Next thing you know, they’re calling me an “urban hero.” “Real estate agent turned hero vigilante” read one article, and now I’m at Cafe Gratitude telling a date about my car, or my personal belief in honesty, and people are coming up to me, telling me how I inspire them….and I’m selling more houses than ever.

And best of all, now in my cabinet, as well as the pistols, and the AK, I’ve also got a Cobray M11 submachine gun, and a Mossberg pistol grip shotgun. They’re all going to come in useful, because I’m stepping up my nightly excursions. I love LA.

Hey, you asked about my watch, buddy.


Matt Graham was born in London but has lived all over the world: Buenos Aires, New Orleans and the Amazon Rainforest, and is today a proud Los Angeleno. He’s a screenwriter and his work has most recently been seen on Showtime’s hit popular documentary series “Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States” of which he was an integral part.  He’s also the author of a novel, The Night Driver, and a TV pilot about Dick Cheney’s rise to power that was so controversial no one would touch. Yet.

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