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Look Up
A View Into the American Future By Tony Cox


On my way into the supermarket today, I got to thinking about how the bottle return areas of large supermarkets remind me of what an ancient slave market might have looked like. The dregs of society, conquered and diseased, standing in line, awaiting an uncertain, but sure to be unkind future. The number of homeless seems to be growing exponentially, to such a point that, given the current trend, we’ll all be homeless one day.

A little while later, as I walked back out to my car with half a cartload of groceries, I see someone sitting on the hood of my car. I’m a easy going type, so I cordially observe, “You’re on my car, dude.”

Like a flash, he hops off to face me, and I notice the hunting knife in his left hand. “So what about it, huh?” he inquired, while moving within a couple feet of me. His eyes tell me that he’s tweaked.

Wait a second. “What’s up Mike? I didn’t recognize you without your glasses.”

He smiles and tells me he lost them during the last snow storm. While we talk, he keeps the knife behind his back, blade pointed outward, tilting it back and forth, rocking on his heels, and craning his neck this way and that to get a better look at his surroundings.

“What’s with the knife?”, I ask.

“It’s so motherfuckers know. Keep away! Danger! HaHa.”

His mental state has deteriorated since the last time I saw him. We used to be neighbors.

Mike’s in his late 40’s, and looks older. He talks with the sibilant “S” that is indicative of long term meth use. He’s become what I call a TOM. Tweaker On Mountainbike. I actually witnessed the moment he joined the ranks of the city’s homeless population.

It happened like this: A few years ago I ran into him at another grocery store. It was just after 7:00 am and I was on my way home from work, getting some groceries before I picked my kids up. It was raining like hell outside and I offered Mike a ride home, since he lived downstairs and didn’t have a car.

“I just ate some really powerful mushrooms.” he tells me. “I need to cash my paycheck and get a money order for the rent, or else my old lady will kill me.”

I declined his offer of mushrooms, but laughed all the same as I watched him fumble his way through the store. When we got back to our apartments, I heard his old lady start screaming as soon as I walked up the stairs.

“That’s right motherfucker! I’m taking the rent money and kicking your ass out! Leave NOW! I’m calling 911! I’ll tell ‘em you hit me again!”

Bitch did him wrong. He beat on the door for another couple minutes, begging mercy and sweet talking his woman, but finally left when it became apparent that the cops were on their way. His old lady was an ex-whore, current junkie. I remember the sage wisdom of an old Nevada redneck who once told me, “There’s nothing colder than a whore’s heart.”

Middle of a rainstorm, head full of mushrooms, it’s not even 8:00 am yet, and his whole world just got changed.

Today, I asked him if he’s living outdoors. I have an extra tent and some old sleeping bags in my trunk, if he wants them.

“Check it out bro. The homeowners have been picking random tents and settin’ ‘em on fire, whether someone’s sleeping in it or not. Two this week. People are fed up with us homeless fucks. The cops, sheriffs, and rangers have been doing sweeps all along the trail (The Springwater Trail, a wooded bike path that travels the length of the city east to west), kicking everyone out. That first night, I saw ‘em coming, and got hip. I climbed my ass up a tree, and they never spotted me. They were right below me, ten feet down! I got a sweet little tree house goin’ on now. People never look up!”

When those of us who live indoors become the minority, that’s when shit will start to get interesting.

Let the World Fend for Itself

Big Ron's Baltimore: A Working Man's View of Urban Blight

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1983487988/ref=sr_1_2/146-5426057-9834066?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514930203&sr=1-2

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078S2CVBP/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514974087&sr=1-1&keywords=Let+the+world+fend+for+itself%2C+kindle

Add Comment
BobMarch 11, 2018 9:50 PM UTC

@ PR: The Soviet experiment suggests otherwise. The police, far from fading away (look at the budgets, hirings, etc.), are just being redeployed to punish the "deplorables" and protect the élite. Common crime goes selectively unpunished, political crime, no way.
BobMarch 10, 2018 9:42 PM UTC

The Faraway Tree, that's beyond sad.

A meth addict with a hunting knife, couldn't that just as easy end up in your belly?
PRMarch 10, 2018 7:52 PM UTC

"Check it out bro. The homeowners have been picking random tents and settin’ ‘em on fire, whether someone’s sleeping in it or not. Two this week. People are fed up with us homeless fucks. The cops, sheriffs, and rangers have been doing sweeps all along the trail (The Springwater Trail, a wooded bike path that travels the length of the city east to west), kicking everyone out."

Sounds like the 200-year era of police protection is coming to an end. The police and city hall are failing to solve problems so people are handling problems themselves. As the pension tsunami sweeps over us and cops realize they're getting only a fraction of what they were promised in retirement, they'll stop policing altogether.