When the Rain Stopped in Ocean Beach Today

by on May 18, 2011 · 9 comments

in Homelessness

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

barbara May 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm

In many places including DC it is illegal to be outside with no ID. It is illegal to stand in front of the WH on the sidewalk. You have to keep moving, you can’t be still and silent. UNLESS, you are celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. Then you can stand, sit , cheer, whoop it up on the fence. But if you are a veteran standing still, calling for peace, you will get arrested. It is crazy. Good luck to the bearded man with swollen legs.


mr.rick May 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

This is the same shit that has been going on in OB (really nationwide) for decades. The whole idea the suppresion has been used by the “Man” to suggest to any one close enough to witness that it would be a good idea to sort of toe the line. I mean the line toeing is not manditory. It’s just a really good idea to conform so you don’t have to participate.


annagrace May 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm

The solution of course is to get rid of the offending bench. Or to get volunteers to sit on the bench to dissuade undesirables from stopping there.


ASBuco May 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

That story from sdnews is just awful. Part of why I never liked La Jolla. Snobby people with their heads up their butts. Undesirables? They are human beings. I have always avoided the area as much as possible. And I will continue to do so each year I come out to visit my mom and friends. I have never liked the attitude those who feel so privileged just because they are rich and live in La Jolla. Even if you aren’t homeless, just from another part of town and not dressed to the nines you get attitude. And I find that rude. La Jolla and Coronado both do this. Funny thing is, they want everyone’s business for our money but when you don’t look like them you get the snob attitude. I just cannot stand that. No one is any better than anyone else. So, I avoid those areas where they treat people like that. Sorry, La Jolla, I won’t be visiting your establishments and beaches again.


esther May 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm

To me, the bench (although in this case quite literally, yet transitory) is a symbol of something much larger–Comfort, of body and mind. I tend to think that most people take this pleasure (of Comfort) for granted. To me, the guy (and I have seen him numerous times as well, sitting there, appearing to be at peace), had found this there. To me, that is so beautiful. Because I know how good it feels, to be comfortable. Such a seemingly simple thing. I will appreciate it more now. The ugliness that I see in this situation, is the apparent collaboration of a group of people to take such a precious thing from someone else.


mr.rick May 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Instead of occupying the bench to keep undesirables from the bench,(who polices the bonifidies of said undesirables), put enough characters on the bench to dissuade the “Man”(including Shell employees) from hasseling free citizens of a free country exercising their constitutional(God given) rights.


JEC May 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Wasted resources? Perhaps. We all have witnessed examples – I know I have. Curious though – with the street crime rate down, officers have more time to exercise their petty prejudices yet we are told the City of San Diego is an “under-policed” city. If anything, the fact police have time kind of time tells me we have as many police as we need.


Joy Farrelly May 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm

As an Attorney friend of mine once said, We live in a Police State, everyone just doesn’t know it”. I live in Flagstaff and we have the same issues here. It amazes me how much freedom people will relinquish because they’ve been convinced it will make them safer. We have become a fear driven society…


monte May 31, 2011 at 9:33 am

good portrait of an old problem.

i think the “rich” feel in their bones the injustice of their lives, and would rather not be reminded of the costs of opulence…


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: