Another thought

Everybody should move to and live in a ghetto of sorts for at least a year of their lives. AND go outside and mingle with the locals on a regular basis. Yep. Might still get your vehicle broken into, but that’s a reality of living in such an area. Please do go and experience and find out for yourselves. Listen to people tell you how they get by. Learn about their drug and alcohol problems. Listen as they tell how many kids they have from however many partners. Listen carefully as they deceive you as much as they try to deceive themselves.

Just saying. It’s a worthwhile pursuit. Helps put the Social Sciences and justice into perspective.

Sick with a cold once again

Bah! Tired of getting sick. Probably the 3rd or 4th time I’ve come down with a cold since November.  sick

Sucks. Sniffling, sneezing, chest congested, head aches.  Ugh…

But pizza ordered is on its way. Had to cancel plans with a guy friend tonight since I have no business being out in public. But at least I only had one work appointment today which was tended to earlier and have tomorrow off completely. Gonna lay around and veg and watch youtube all night while swilling Ovaltine.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like heading out to dinner with my friend. Possibly.

It ALL simply is what it is…

It’s not uncommon for us to take issue with those who tend to make us feel guilty, whether by their deliberate or unintentional words, actions, or general personalities. We are masters of projection — proven time and time and time again. There’s a woman who springs to mind regularly and can’t help but conjure up hate in my heart (actually a couple women if I reflect back). Even though now they’re both gone, out of the picture, one for several years who originally dated back to my early youth through the step-family).

Some days I feel like I contain so many stories — my own and others’ — enough to where I just might burst. Too much to carry alone.

My heart and soul have been in a strange place for quite a spell now. No question. But I do see glimpses of the light more and more. I am still struggling to piece together what I am able to at this juncture. Maybe eventually I will figure out how to make better (public) sense of what life has been teaching me.

What is love? And how much is it worth to each of us individually? Just a passing (perennial) thought…

Another night wears on and my conscience aches enough to be noticeable. I won’t make excuses. Explanations, though, I attempt at because I’m trying to learn myself. ALL is a learning process, and we didn’t all start out with equal sets of instructions or guidance. That’s a given.

Time for some tunes. Creating a new post now.

Hopefully over for the last time

He’s mad at me for everything. Blames me for damn-near everything, even that which is on him. And I’ve grown so goddamn tired of it all. Six years have gone by now, 5 years of which have been majorly problematic. Nowadays we have a good week or two, and then the gavel of judgment drops again. Always on time, though never easily predicted when exactly it will fall. And shit just stirs up again and again and again and again…

Want to call me a “shithead” for past discretions dating back 5 years ago. Okay. Yes, I am a shithead. Apparently. Worst of the worst. But if he feels so strongly against me, why did he ever contact me on Valentine’s Day unexpectedly and invite me over for pizza with a bouquet of roses and a box of fine chocolates waiting? (First time in nearly 3 years to buy me flowers.) Why keep putting me through these paces? Back at Christmas he gifted me far more than I expected then too. Why? If you are so angry at me and feel so much contempt and claim to want me gone when you’re angry and been drinking — why even do all that? Why keep doing this again and again?

Says because he does care. Says he loves me and always will. And yet…  Here we remain in this stupid, senseless limbo.

A bar-pal told me something tonight. Connected a piece in the puzzle. My former companion fairly recently had lied outright. Claimed something entirely else despite calling on me for help. For no good reason since the truth wouldn’t have pissed me off. But lied anyway. How he thought others wouldn’t inform me remains a mystery. But if I confront him with a lie, he will turn it back, as he always does, to what I have done wrong in the past. This remains the perpetual cycle. Never changes. Wish it would but it doesn’t. And on and on it goes…

Earlier tonight we told one another goodbye for the umpteenth time. Must make it stick this time. Tired of so much bullshit. He doesn’t trust me (for good reason) and I don’t trust him anymore either (for equally good reason). So many tears have been shed during our fiasco. Several years running now…

Lord, I am so tired. Been tired for a long time now. Please provide me enough grace to move on with my life. We are so rude and harsh toward one another at times. It is too cruel to keep accepting. If he invites me back once again, may I possess the strength to resist and decline. Because I will only be blamed for whatever outcome comes of it over time. He knows it and I know it. This is the modus operandi at this point. Has been for several years. Can’t keep doing this to ourselves any longer. Makes me hate myself. Causes me to second-guess every instinct I have, nearly all of which are trying to pull me in a different direction by now. Except for that lone gremlin who relates to him in terms of my childhood and upbringing (and presumably his as well), that tries to recreate a scenario that will never work, that will not listen to reason and just keeps plowing on as if it knows what is best. It does not. It is misguided. It is in pain and fractured and does not apparently comprehend the current state of living. It wishes to fix some age-old dilemma that cannot be repaired, close as he seems integrated into to that. I broke my trust with him years back. So there is nowhere to go from here but away.

Too many have listened to me lament on all of this over these years. Some of my closest friends have told me I am no longer my true self. That I have lost myself in this irreparable conundrum. They are correct. I have not been willing to listen to reasoning, or at least not willing to act on it properly. Been a long time coming.

He is not the devil. Nor am I. We are just not able to make any of this work. I wish him well though do not desire to stand by him as he seeks out his next love interest. Can’t and no longer will. Blames me for holding him back due to guilt  despite inviting me to be around regularly. Is maddening. He wants to be free yet doesn’t wish to be alone apparently. I can relate to that feeling. However, no, the line must be drawn somewhere. Should’ve been drawn long ago between us, as he and I both recognize. We’re torturing ourselves and one another to continue this sordid mess of a “relationship,” however it is to be defined. Not going well and hasn’t been for so long now.

He apparently lacks the strength in this area and willpower to make this cut definitive, despite his talk on the subject, so I must. We cannot go back to this bullshit. It must be laid to rest now. We will never be friends in the aftermath if we keep this up any longer. All we be destroyed. Too much resentment, too much water under the bridge.

I accept this and will do my part to keep us apart going forward. He claims he will as well. But I must. This is too much to keep bearing. No good for either one of us anymore. So peace be with us as we move on in our separate directions from here on out.

Back to music in mid-February 2017 (plus thoughts for the evening)

Had a nice evening. My former stopped over for dinner (the first time in many months since he’s been over here) and to spend time with the kitty. She adores him. They have their own little games they play that I just can’t recreate for her in as exciting of a manner. Tonight I decided to try my hand at a recipe I haven’t attempted in probably 5 years now: Chicken Pot Pie Stew. It comes together in a crockpot cooked on low for about 5 hours. Into it went two skinless/boneless chicken breasts, 1 can of cream of chicken, 1 can of cream of potato, 1 bag of mixed frozen vegetables, a small bag of tiny potatoes cut into halves, seasoning salts, fresh-pressed garlic, nearly 2 cups of milk, onion powder (should’ve added more of that), salt and pepper — served with biscuits on the side (went with Immaculate Baking Co.’s organic flaky biscuits since they are tasty and so much easier than attempting to make homemade biscuits — will leave that to my Grandma, great as hers always are). Turned out well enough. Not fabulous but pretty darn good. Easy meal for a winter night (though it doesn’t feel like winter here lately, crazily enough for this month when we’d normally be knee-deep in snow).

Headed back to his place for a few brews while watching the show Cops. Heh  Yeah, we’re super-cool like that. cool  Chatted about memories from Memphis and New Orleans trips and he reminisced about his run-ins with local cops back in the day (nearly two decades ago). Casual Friday night chit-chat before he headed to bed to rest up after a long, hard work-week. And now I am back home with a few tunes on the brain, per my norm.

One that keeps running through my mind this week is Moby’s “One of These Mornings”:

Beautiful song. Comes back across my radar from time to time.

While over at his place I did read a couple articles in last week’s newspaper, and come to find out the two main stories on the front page both relate with a woman I used to volunteer alongside in that Quaker peace-community organization years back. She’s a Hispanic woman from a South American country (if memory serves me right) who offers counsel to other local Hispanics (who make up our largest minority in this city and state). There’s local talk about trying to turn our public schools into “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrant students. These are K-12 schools, not colleges as I’ve heard about in states like California. But one article stated that the agreement they arrived at does not block school officials from cooperating with federal immigration officials if ever contacted by them, though they have yet to ever be contacted by ICE officials, the article reported. So it appears to mostly be a symbolic gesture in that regard, which I don’t have a major problem with so long as it’s not taken too far beyond that. I’m cool with the Hispanic residents we have around here and have never had trouble of any sort with any of them. Seem like fine people to me. Many of them work very hard and aim to stay out of criminal mischief, so that’s good. BUT problems do arise when it comes to the question of receiving government aid and whatnot — it’s a matter that will have to be reckoned with and sorted out as time goes on. Just so that it can be resolved and handled in an effective manner, hopefully.

Anyway, there was a fairly large protest staged downtown recently, come to find out, where reportedly hundreds of migrant Hispanics and Muslims and their allies showed up trying to press for more “sanctuary” measures in this state. Heard about it the other day but rarely go downtown and so didn’t see the protest myself. This woman I used to volunteer alongside with is proving to be a focal point in these stories because she provides legal and social aid to Hispanic immigrants, some of whom she claims are receiving more discrimination “over the last 9 months” (to quote from the article) than ever before in this city. Hard to imagine since I’ve never heard anyone here locally express anything but respect toward our Hispanic residents (and people do seem to love to tell me their racial grievances behind closed doors). Have heard some grumbling about some of the Muslims here, but that’s obviously a separate matter since they belong to completely separate cultures and religions. The concerns she relayed didn’t sound terrible. No beatings or attacks. Claims of some bullying in schools, whatever that might amount to. We’re a relatively crime-free area, particularly on this side of town, and so I’m imagining some classmates probably said some rude stuff to one another over the Trump election. As is to be expected among youths. We weren’t any nicer toward one another in the ’80s or ’90s, I promise you that much.

Still, I can see where she’s aiming to make her organization and her position within it seem more relevant in light of current mainstream media hysteria. Not that she seemed to have many local stories to work with or at least didn’t describe specific cases where we might become alarmed. All this pushing for “sanctuary” protection from the federal government is kinda odd though. Our state has been good about taking in refugees in the past, and we’re overall a pretty dang friendly community. Lots of caring people around who aren’t squalling to have people deported — quite the contrary. Myself included, when it comes to law-abiding Hispanics in particular. So when she says that some of her people don’t feel as safe here anymore, I’m wondering how much of that has to do with their perceptions changing due to current events in the news. Because locally we seem to be very abiding and helpful and not looking to sabotage these folks’ interests for nefarious reasons. Probably couldn’t ask for a better community than the one we’ve stumbled upon here. I know my gratitude has been growing since relocating to this area a little over a decade back. Good economy, plenty of job opportunities, friendly residents for the most part, low crime rate (compared to plenty of other big cities), greater respect for social freedom (in terms of choice of religion, political views and sexual orientation, especially compared to small towns in the Deep South), good quality utility companies and road crews and the like, etc. PLUS the cops and city councilpersons interviewed in the articles expressed care about hearing from their ethnic communities and stated they shouldn’t be afraid to report crimes regardless of their immigration status. This is probably the best a lot of us out here can hope for, so why people keep complaining over every little thing they can find to niggle about (on the front page of the local newspaper, no less) remains a bit of a mystery to me. Not saying that in anger, just in earnest.

Sometimes we’re better off counting our blessings. For they too might be gone one day…

Returning to music. Ground Up’s “People”:

Footage there was from my last South-bound trek back in 2016. Probably already posted that song on here before, but it’s still playing regularly in my car.

A song I have yet to entirely tire of, Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe”:

Lunatic fringe
In the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season
But you won’t get too far
Cause you gotta blame someone
For your own confusion
We’re on guard this time
(On guard this time)
Against your final solution …

We all contain gremlins. Bad ideas, bad inclinations. Troublesome desires at times. Rage and wrath. Comes with the territory of being human. Good to ponder on that during calm moments too.

“Lord Have Mercy On Me” by Junior Kimbrough:

Another playing regularly in my car in recent months. Never tire of that one in particular. A prayer in a song.

“Burnin’ Sky” by Bad Company:

That one plays in my car regularly too.

Another personal favorite, “Ride With Yourself” by Rhino Bucket:

Footage there shown from my 2013 South-bound trek.

Another good one, “It Keeps You Runnin'” by The Doobie Brothers:

“Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil:

Very pretty song. Solemn and humbling. Like a prayer unto itself.

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve:

Loved that one since it came out in the late ’90s. Never tire of it.

I can’t change my mold. No, no no …

Have you ever been down? …

Another I rarely tire of, “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles” by Captain Beefheart:

Far as I can see she loves me …

I can’t see what she sees in a man like me, but she says she loves me …

Hmmm…

“Mea Culpa” by Enigma:

Sometimes we prove to be the “bad guys” in other people’s lives, whether we set out to do so intentionally or not. Stupid decisions can leave marks for many years, come to find out. Doesn’t require an external authority to teach one this lesson either. And sometimes our pain winds up being our best teacher. Hard lessons learned can prove to be a godsend.

Pausing for Valentine’s Day…

Back in for the night and no longer in the mood to worry about the world’s problems. Not tonight. Needing to switch gears and show my softer side some attention.

Didn’t expect to have plans this evening. Just worked and came back home and prepared to lounge. Then my former texted to invite me over for pizza. Got ready and headed over and was surprised to see he’d bought me a bouquet of roses and a box of my favorite chocolates. And there I showed up with a bottle of Gatorade, a granola bar, and dark chocolate square — grabbing a few things I had around the kitchen, having not planned for us getting one another anything. That was really sweet of him. Watched the show The Big Bang Theory, then Family Guy and Robot Chicken, as we like to do. Was a nice, peaceful evening. No arguing. No grumbling.

One of the roses broke off its stem on the way home, so it’s now sitting on my desk in its own little mini vase. Very cute.

Kinda got me sentimental, ‘course I’ve been a little sentimental the last few days already. Not sure why exactly. Forever adjusting to what is…

Don’t really feel like writing much. Just gonna play a few songs I’ve long loved. Beginning with one that’s been on my mind since waking up this morning. Must’ve revisited me in a dream. “Captain of Her Heart” by Double:

A perennial favorite, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”:

Another long-time favorite, The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin'”:

That may just be my all-time favorite from that band.

The Cure’s “Love Song”:

“I Can See For Miles” by The Who:

That’s enough for tonight. Need to finish unwinding and head to bed.

Journaling on a Friday evening in early February 2017

Been sick frequently this winter. Colds. Been battling this last one for over a week now. Makes me tired, has kept me indoors this whole week when not working. No desire for in-person company. Been skipping the gym lately too. Downtime. Sleeping more.

Mostly watching the wheels go ’round and ’round online during my waking hours. Observing the political fallout. Catching up on some of the news stories.

Currently listening to the audiobook The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis. Enjoying it. Prior to that listened to Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Race and loved it. Will be re-listening to that one again! Mostly sticking with audiobooks these days, partly because lighting in my apartment sucks. Need to remedy that.

Been cooking at home more than usual, so that’s good. Tried my hand at making lasagna for the first time in a years a couple weeks back. Turned out okay. Nothing to write home about though. Otherwise fixing other simpler pasta dishes. Screw Atkins for now. It can wait. Continue reading

Journaling on Sunday night in late January 2017

I’m all over the board lately. One hour looking into black criminality, the next sitting with cases of Muslim rapists attacking American and European women, the next listening to politicians here and abroad debate on topics of national interests, the next trying to make more sense out of what the fuck the American Left is up to. And on and on and on it goes. For weeks and months on end. Never stops. And I never stop in my attempt to witness what all is going on out here in the world.

Years can go by… They have before and it looks like they will again. My friends like to say I’m like a dog with a bone, I just won’t let go. Don’t know how to. Violent criminality fucks with my sensibilities. Can’t tolerate it or ignore its occurrence. And I understand that the media plays up on that psychological drive within so many of us to pay close attention to news of danger and mayhem. Hence why I don’t subscribe to cable television in my home and haven’t in years. If I’m going down into the abyss it will be according to my choosing and in relation to topics that particularly distress me.

As one American woman out here I must say that I pray this shit doesn’t go off the hook too far beyond what it has already. Some of you are strong, solid men who don’t fear other men, and good for you. I don’t personally comprehend that feeling as a 5’2″ female who lives alone and goes about my life at odd hours, dwelling in an apartment complex increasingly populated with African and Hispanic immigrants who barely speak English. All have been friendly and decent toward me thus far. Only ever had problems here with one black man who used to live across the hall who once tried to barge into my apartment while evidently high on something. Got the door pushed closed and locked it and called my landlord, leading to that man being evicted shortly thereafter. But that man had caused other problems in the building beyond that. Still have to deal with hooligans leaving used condoms in the hallway and parking lot occasionally, but at least they ceased hanging women’s panties on people’s Dish Network satellites. We’re kinda like a tiny ghetto-ish enclave within a reasonably nice residential area. People sometimes tell me to move but I like cheap rent. Always have and always will. Plus, my landlord has been fair and decent with me and only gone up on the rent $50/mo. over the last 8 years.

But I do keep various sorts of items to use as weapons around the place, plus in my car. You learn to be vigilant and to pay attention to your surroundings when you live as I do. You learn about body language and what it signals and how to not come across as an easy mark. But this place truly isn’t so bad, at least not yet. Better than it used to be, so I give my landlord credit for ridding the worst elements from this place. But we do cater to Section 8 and apparently are welcoming to immigrants. But, again, thus far most of our immigrants from various nations have conducted themselves all right. Had a few break-ins in the apartment beneath mine and actually caught one Hispanic guy kicking their window in one time — told the police that when they arrived later, but what could I say? Dark evening hours, brown guy, nothing really distinguishing about him. Hollered at him out my window, but he didn’t care. Usually I just come home to seeing one of their windows boarded up yet again. People love kicking in the windows of that particular apartment for some reason. Hence why it has an especially high turnover rate for renters, though many units in this complex do. Only a small handful of us choose to stick around here for more than a year.

When it comes to my job though, I’m all over the place, traveling from residence to residence throughout the day. Many of them live in upscale areas, but still. I don’t trust suburban kids either. Learned about them already in the past, having lived in a suburb for a little while as a young teen. I don’t trust ’em either. In fact, I’m almost more nervous of them than others precisely because they can be so spoiled and lack empathy and think everything’s about their own entertainment. So I watch myself wherever I go, aiming not to lapse into a false sense of security just because I’m visiting wealthier parts of the metro.

Mostly I worry about my friends. My guyfriends especially. One is so helpful toward strangers that I worry about him getting taken advantage of or robbed, though he likes to dismiss my concerns. (His house was actually robbed several years back.)  He’s strong, but it’s a matter of whether he sees it coming at the time. Another close guyfriend has a good many health issues and can’t take a punch in the face as a result. Would fuck up his world to do him like that. And he’d probably be even more of a target due to being kinda shy and sweet and appearing to have nice things and basically assuming the good in people. I’ve grown paranoid about their safety in recent years. Truly have. Not sure why. Probably because I submerge myself in crime-related information on a nearly daily basis and, in one shape or form, have done so forever. Mostly because I worry about this area changing someday, though it’s still pretty safe as of right now. Still, I worry.

A local development website I looked into recently predicted a 5.1% increase in population in this metro by 2020. I’m wondering where they’re going to come from. Hopefully not Chicago. Please, dear lord, don’t let rough elements move here from Chicago! We don’t need that. Too many people around here are soft, unexpecting, trusting — at least from what I can tell. The ones out in the gated community might not have much reason to worry, but it’s a bit unnerving how so many of the rest are kinda oblivious to crime, as though it won’t happen to them, lulled into a sense of security thanks to this area being so crime-free (or at least not crimes typically horribly violent in nature).

Then a couple cops were killed here locally a few months back. By a middle-aged white man who was known to be a hot-head. Ambushed them in their cars. In my neighborhood. One right down the street from me. One of the police officers was relatively new to the force; the other had been serving a while and has a family and kids and was very well-liked, so people say. Very sad situation. The man who murdered them reportedly got mad at a high school sports game when his rebel flag was snatched by fellow attendees. Doesn’t make sense, I know. Nobody comprehends this. But he had a youtube video up about it where right afterward he was talking to police and fussing about his property being stolen. Then about a week or so later, he killed two cops unrelated to his former incident. There was some mention of him being pissed off at Black Lives Matter, but that may just be a rumor. His crime didn’t make any sense even if that was the motive. He killed two white male cops he didn’t even know. In two separate jurisdictions. Lived with his mother and had a teenage daughter. Only videos he had up on youtube were of her recitals and playing with his pup before that altercation video where he was arguing with the cops (and the cops were being very reasonable with him in response, not antagonistic. Our cops around here are usually pretty nice and helpful.)

He killed them for whatever reason. And he had just written in a week prior a letter to the local police department commending them for being heroes who serve our community. None of it made any sense in the end. He’s alive and in jail currently, but we still don’t comprehend why this all happened. Doubt the dude even knows. I wonder if he’s on any drugs, prescribed or otherwise. We have no choice but to accept that this occurred, wrong as it was. I’d love to learn more about the criminal if information becomes available, but he basically appears to be not too bright and highly emotionally reactive. Hence probably why he never proved successful in anything, according to those who knew him.

Ever since, though, this town has bathed itself in blue ribbons. Little by little, they keep creeping up, strung around tree trunks and light poles, tied to antennas and shrubbery. Blue lights on the occasional front porch. Blue tape strips across back car windshields. More and more of it is materializing, which is what’s really interesting to me. Initially when the cops died there were memorials placed on the street corners where they were each ambushed. Lots of balloons and signs showing support and leaving spiritual sentiments — I’d see one of those displays everyday on the way to work. Then, little by little, the ribbons and tape and lights began emerging across the whole city. Slowly. Plus the occasional yard sign expressing support for the local PD. By now I notice the blue all the time as I’m out walking and driving each day. And honestly, I’m grateful for it. It’s actually a comfort to see that much outpouring of support not only to the officers whose lives were taken but also to our police departments in general. Even folks who aren’t cop-lovers around here at least seem to show them respect and reasonable deference most of the time. And it works. Our cops here are the best I’ve ever known in terms of temperament and helpfulness, from what I’ve gathered about them over the last 11 years.

We’re lucky. And I guess that’s what reading these horrible crime stories from all around the country, and having lived in Mississippi half my early life, has me nervous about. How we might not remain lucky for much longer. How we’re surrounded on all sides by other states’ major metros with a lot bigger crime problems than us. And we don’t want any of that. We’re reasonably good, let us remain good. And yet I understand that sadly life doesn’t like to roll like that. Shit rolls downhill. People here are maybe too nice for their own good. Too polite and trusting. I’ve witnessed it in my own ways and have remained perpetually surprised by it. Like, I lock my own doors no matter what. All the time. Obsessively. Car doors, home door — locked. And I believe in owning a gun that is always loaded and ready to go. Do they? Because I already know too many of them leave doors and windows unlocked, and I aim to rectify it when I see it. We’re getting too lax. Life’s too comfortable around here. We’re getting complacent. Hell, I am and I’m not even a native!

They probably consider me a little paranoid. I’d argue it’s for good reason. But whatever. In 3 years time we might experience an influx of what? Approximately 16,000 newcomers, at minimum? Transplants like myself who may or may not choose to assimilate. And I get it, assimilation isn’t easy. Hell, I still feel like an outsider in this town. But ah well. They’re pretty good about leaving you alone, so I deal with it. But I didn’t come here with a family and a community and a totally different culture from another nation. Wound up coming here alone as a cantankerous “vagabond” seeking greater economic opportunity, and I am content with what I’ve found for the most part, despite some of the locals ticking me off (a topic for another time). Finally starting to feel like this is my adopted home, like it’s worth standing up for and protecting. Can’t complain too much since it’s largely been good to me. Beats the hell out of conditions in that small-ass town in Mississippi where I originally sprang from.

Don’t want to see these people become sitting ducks who don’t see shit coming. And I’ve got a feeling that serious problems are on the horizon. Don’t believe any place will ultimately prove immune to facing it. Coming from various directions. Not too cool with shipping a bunch of Syrians here or to other U.S. cities. Already mentioned that it’d be best if aggressive Chicagoans stay where they are. Don’t want none. Just pondering what the future may hold in store…  Who really knows?

As a Southerner, there is a part of me that feels a bit queer about bonding with and sticking up for a Midwestern city, but perhaps that’s just evidence that I’m finally maturing.  Ha!

Seriously though, I’ve witnessed New Orleans crime and been involved in a car accident because a black woman intentionally slammed into us. She was mistaken since my friend’s mom didn’t have barely shit for insurance, but either way, she made a go for it. And I witnessed how all but one of the black people in the local businesses poured out to immediately side with her (one old man came to us — the only one out of a crowd of maybe 50 to even check on our condition), despite her getting out of her car and marching around ranting before getting back in her car and having the paramedics help her out when they arrived, complaining about her neck and back. The three of us sat there on the curb as teenagers, my friend’s mom’s car having been totaled, and just witnessed this. My boyfriend-at-the-time had the car door crash in on his hip (luckily he was not seriously injured). I didn’t have a seatbelt on (yes, bad 15-year-old me) and was just cut on my face by the glass shattering. Our driver was physically okay but shaken up. Either that black woman drives worse than the absolute worst Asian driver imaginable, or she was aiming to scam somebody. Appearances at the scene of the accident point to the latter conclusion.

Also listened to cops in my hometown in Mississippi describe having to give chase during what starts out as routine traffic stops, usually involving black men, who then take off through the treacherous woods and make you run after them. There’s barbwire all over the woods down there, just so you know. Private property and all. But it’s not uncommon, according to that lieutenant who springs to mind, that they made him chase them. Just wouldn’t take a ticket or face a warrant without a fight. He seemed to hate his job. I don’t forget that man or his stories from during the short time we interacted.

Or the asshole cops in that section of Omaha who didn’t give a damn about response time and wouldn’t respond at all for vehicle destruction by thieving thugs. Deferred people to an automated system where you could just tell them about how your windows are broken and your dash was ripped out and the hoodlums in question are known to neighbors. No follow-up ever occurred. Twenty minutes response time when non-fatal violent crime is occurring but then don’t want to take down witness statements, acting like they already assume relevant charges would be dropped by the party/ies involved (and they usually were).  Despite driving by 13 times in about an hour (we sat outside and counted them once, out of curiosity, entertaining ourselves). That was back when I was 21-23. Met a pregnant hoodrat there, which I told about elsewhere on this blog. And she wound up being one of the final straws that led me to move away. I still recall discarded needles tossed into our yard and empty beer bottles left in the back of my truck. Was a rude place to live. Made a couple friends and remain in contact with one from there, but otherwise I chalk that time up to a sociological experiment and highly recommend all other social science majors (and their intellectual ilk) to live somewhere like that for at least a full year, while also ACTIVELY and REGULARLY engaging with your neighbors. And LISTEN to them. Interact and observe. It’s an eye-opening, educational opportunity to learn more about long-time welfare recipients and EBT cards (and how those funds can be spent and used to obtain groceries for others in exchange for non-EBT-qualifying goods and services), and criminal activity and how snitching is frowned upon. It’s an opportunity to observe scrappiness/fighting capabilities even among the short and slim and to learn to gauge how drug users lie (as if they can’t even help themselves). Forces one to reckon with the notion of dignity, that much is certain.

That and my hometown are whole other worlds from where I live now. And I’d like to not see this area turned to shit like so many other big American cities. I worry that our relatively strong local economy and nods from Forbes magazine for being a great place to raise kids will also have the unfortunate effect of luring in elements looking for social welfare assistance and to take advantage—in the worst way—of what we have going on here. Makes me a bit nervous. Can’t pretend otherwise. Most of the black folks here currently are decent people, work hard and are friendly. Chat with plenty of them at my local watering hole and typically enjoy their company. Then back on Christmas I ran into a couple homeboys originally from northern Mississippi who now live up this way.  Always give my fellow Southerners a chance and take up for them a little, but these dudes I don’t know about. Can’t say that I could trust them. One spoke about Islam when I pried, and the other was sketchier in the thug sense. Not pretend thuggery like suburbanites like to try to pull, but actual thug jackassery. So I took off and called it a day. Too potentially emotionally reactive. Too likely to do something stupid and create an unnecessary situation. And it’s sad to me to feel that way about folks from my own home state. But it’s true.

And the Muslim Bosnians…  Hmmm…  Another time.

Anyway, journaled enough on here for one evening.