March 8th, 2004

sad in South Park

A very short list of things that piss me off...

C'mon, they can't even *breed*!

What pisses you off?
Created by ptocheia

Almost every day, I pass a particular man while on my way to work. This guy, whom I shall refer to as Freedom Street Man (FSM), has made a very simple and modest home for himself under the train bridge along 5th street. He is always very pleasant, and doesn't do anything to get in anyone's way. In fact, he often has a person or two who stop to talk to him while en route to wherever their lives are taking them. Though he does have a hat out on the ground for change, I have yet to see him actually ask for it. More than once, I've assembled a small tray of food for him made up of leftovers from a meeting or some training from the day, which I take to him after work on my way home. He has always been very gracious and thankful for it. To those who pass by his abode, he would usually smile and greet with, "welcome to Freedom Street."

On the way to work today, I had the "pleasure" of witnessing a couple of our finest forcibly removing this man from his self-made home. As I went past the cruiser, I couldn't help but tiptoe through the shattered glass all over the ground; FSM had apparently gotten in a couple of good kicks, and taken out the window of the back door. Part of the frame was also bent out. I could see him sitting in the back seat, looking quite a bit more disheveled than normal. Further down the sidewalk, even at that distance, I could see the ruin of his home. His few, meager possessions were strewn about; the walls and roof of his cardboard home were bent, torn and displaced. His bed had been pulled halfway out, and was now in danger of being trampled by pedestrian traffic.

I cannot imagine what he could have done to warrant being hauled off like that. I understand that there are laws against such living arrangements, but what else is he to do? Yes, there are shelters, but also yes, they tend to be full. Surely there is a better way of handling this kind of situation... getting taken away by the brute squad really isn't going to solve anything.

On my way past, I overheard the officers talking. It wasn't just what they said, it was how they said it. So arrogant. So pompous. So ostentatious. They were eyeing everyone who went by, as if to say, "what of it..."; feeling a bit guilty are we, officers? Immediately, I could picture them on the schoolyard as children, bullying the others and telling themselves that they were justified in doing so.

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