Editor: The following account was sent to our letters section.
By Devon/May 17, 2011
How much tax money does it take to get a man silently resting on a bench in front of the shell station to move? I don’t know that answer, nor do I know if tax money goes towards hollow hand shaped blue latex. What I know is what I saw.
The rain had stopped and my legs were crossing Sunset heading east on Voltaire. There, like a rooted tree, I had noticed the bearded, ball capped man that had been on the corner for some time now, but mostly, he is on the bench across the street. Someone had erected a plastic rain guard above him with an American flag holding it all together.
I was smirky that someone was helping him from saturated freezing, yet with his clear kite in the wind I contemplated the reaction of a certain type of person who suffers from eye sores. I think it’s kind of like herpes because there does not seem to be a cure and a lot of people seem to have it. The people with this eye sore illness see something that causes them to excrete a negative emotion. Instead of dealing with their emotions they choose to eliminate the visual, which sometimes becomes a complaint to the police.What they fail to realize is that they have an eye sore; they are not looking at an eye sore. The sore is in the eye not the object.
Immediately, two cop cars roll up on the guy. 2 cop cars. I watched peacefully and deeply from the co-op. I was pure in sight with no reactions. Watching. Standing in my stillness contemplating how ridiculous it is that it is illegal for us to be still in public. A man by him talked for over 5 minutes defending him. He took the plastic down and shuffled the bearded man’s stuff across the street. He wasn’t allowed to stay on the bench. He explained to them that he had a hard time walking. The helping man took off the bearded man’s wet socks and shoes and put his flip flops on him rendering himself barefoot. He could not get him up. The bearded man had a large lower body with very swollen legs. Then one officer called something in. This scene lasted for at least 15 minutes and I finally left as a FedEx truck pulling up blocking my view cued me to carry on.
As I got to the light I looked back, an ambulance and a fire truck. The shell man called the cops, then the cops called an ambulance and a fire truck to move a man from a city bench because someone had helped him not fall victim to the rain. His stuff was gone, the plastic was gone and they still forced him to move. At this point I had to ask someone who was talking to the cops during all of this. I asked, “he obviously can’t walk due to his body, but I don’t think he needs medical attention. Does he want it or need it or is this just to get him off the bench?”
He replied in his own words that they were being dramatic and that someone at the shell station had called the cops. 2 cop cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck. 2 cop cars, an ambulance and a fire truck. one man. sitting in silence. I don’t know what became of it. My strongest concern at this precise moment is not about the freedom to be still in public, but the ridiculous amount of wasted resources that came about this event. Two cop cars an ambulance AND a fire truck.
I see every human with depth. I’ve talked to people and asked them why they get so disgusted and fearful by human visuals simply because, I do not react that way. I may have in the past, but time has, and I’ve cleansed my mind of the dirt buckets society taught me throughout my youth. I’ve never received any answers close to fact, so I have been unable to continue the conversation long enough to obtain insight.
It seems to be fear. Fear fingering off into many negative words that mean many different things, but it always goes back to fear. A person asks you for change and you flip out. Why not just say no. Why get mad? Just say no. A fear that you are working your life away? I do not know. I do not feel it. When someone asks me for money; I stop, smile, and ask them for money before saying no. Every time, they have given me money or a damn good insightful heartfelt story with a giant smile on their face. Not everyone smiles with a smile.
We live in a world of mental pollution from advertising shoving shit in our faces. If you wish to work legally in this country, you are forced to fund terrorist war killing endless numbers of innocent people and destroying the lives of so many more. Even those who make it home. Why is the majority of this society so scared shitless of the unhoused? Why do they feel the need to interfere on their lives? We are becoming demons inside from the lack of artistic stimulation in the streets and our pockets are running bare. Yet, the world’s pointing fingers at those who have opted out of the wheel of this mad debilitating machine.