August 2006

Overflowing...

Iíve been busy of late.

Thereís been a lot going on of late, and I have had to prioritize somewhat. Unfortuneatly one of the things that has been left by the wayside has been the site somewhat, but I aim to try and fix that this month, so bear with me and we will see what we seeÖ

I Think Itís Going To Rain TodayÖ

Iíve been noticing some things of late. To be more precise Iíve been noticing things that I havenít been noticing. Thatíll make some sense in a bit.

A couple of nights ago my stomach was acting up as it regularly does and I couldnít find any antacid in my apartment to save my life so I decided to wander down the street to the local convenience store and get some.

As you do.

At least when your stomach has decided that itís going to try and digest you lungs and various other internal organs.

Now there are a couple of things that I should mention here.

As I have mentioned before, my building happens to be on one of the less than reputable blocks in this fine city. Truth be told, itís regularly referred to as ďCrack CornerĒ by many of the locals.

One of the games that I have invented in my time here is to fill zip lock baggies (theyíre much cheaper than balloons) with cold water and proceed with a merciless aerial bombardment upon the drug dealers that ply their trade on my the sidewalk below.

All the lights in the apartment turned off and they have no idea where they are coming from.

I like to think of it as cheap entertainment and a public service at the same time.

Now I never have any trouble myself. I donít know if itís cause of how I carry myself or I make it clear that Iím not afraid of them when I walk past them, but I never really have an issue. A polite ďNo Thank youĒ whenever they offer me their wares does the trick and they go their way and I go mine.

Now while they may be civil to me, I donít want to make them seem like exemplary human beings. By no means are they. Not a night goes by when the sirens spend most of the night letting the world know that they have something to say. Not a night goes by when I donít go out on my balcony and watch one or two of them beating the holy piss out of each other. Itís amazing what human beings will do to one another in the name of a couple of dozen metres of concrete and the rights to sell poison on it.

Which brings me to the matter at hand.

As I walked out of my apartment and made the left turn I noticed that someone had been dripping black paint all over the concrete. There were big puddles of black paint all over the sidewalk. This wasnít much of a surprise to me as I often see all kinds of shall we say, foreign materials (including paint, lotsa graffiti down there) all over the place.

And as Iím walking down the block it occurs to me that the block is strangely empty.

Which is odd, cause itís only about 2 AM and thatís one of the best hours for business from what I can tell.

So as I come up to the corner I notice that there are several cops talking to this guy and what appears to be his girlfriend. Both are clearly career meth addicts and are in what they might call a pretty happy place. Again, nothing out of the ordinary.

And then I notice the arm.

The guy is holding a rag of a t-shirt up to his arm and it is soaked in the same black paint.

Which was actually the first thought that went through my head before my brain kicked in and read itself the riot act for being so dumb in the first place.

Because, you see, I knew this.

Iím not happy about it by any measure, but past experience has taught me that in low light on concrete human blood looks black.

And in the midst of this crime scene, surrounded by puddles of blood and staring straight at the victim of a rather brutal stabbing, listening to the cops trying to get a description of the attacker and them being told by the bleeding man that he would be far worse off he said who did it to him, I had only two thoughts.

The first was simply, ďOh, thatís what that wasĒ.

Followed by, ďWell at least itís not arterialĒ.

And then I walked in to the convenience store, picked up my antacids, paid the clerk and walked past the bleeding man to my apartment.

It was only a couple of hours later that the thought occurred to me that I might be somewhat jaded.

Which of course, I clearly am.

And Iím not to sure how I feel about that. On one hand I suspect that itís a good thing that I am not easily shaken, but on the other hand I canít help but wonder if itís a bad thing that I can walk past a man bleeding all over the street and not feel anything other than the need to watch my step.

As the saying goes, we are all products of our own environment. And while I see plenty of kindness on the same streets, I am beginning to wonder if it is worth the cost that I appear to be paying.

As the saying goes, ďWhen you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.Ē

Iím beginning to think I may have looked long enough.

Scarecrows Dressed In The Latest StylesÖ

It thereís one thing that I canít stand itís fake people. I would much rather deal with a complete monster than someone who is a monster but is trying to pretend to themselves that they arenít one. Even when itís painfully obvious to all those around them.

Especially when itís painfully obvious to me.

False sincerity, false interest in the name of advancing ones own agenda, whether it is external or internal is simply repugnant to me. Passive aggressive attempts at anything push huge buttons in me.

Of late, I have found myself having to deal with people who seem to live in that place. I have found myself having to stomach the vindictive and the petty with growing frequency.

Now while I am well aware that it would be somewhat improper to get my FAC, simply march down to the local Canadian Tire and arm myself with a boatload of firearms, but good god if the temptation doesnít rear itís head now and then.

Of course, Iíll never do that. I wouldnít do well in prison. I have a hard enough time with rules as is, and I have no illusions that I would have a harder time locked in a federally funded penitentiary.

Even if it had a golf course.

As most of them do these days.

So I comfort myself with the knowledge that the universe does inevitably turn and that people like that always get their comeuppance. You do indeed reap what you sow, and there is always a reckoning.

Sometimes I just wish I had a more active role in that.

It would be a public service. Like zip lock baggies filled with water.

Final ThoughtÖ

One must do what they can with what they have. Bottom line at the end of the day is that you have to try and leave things a little better than you found them, and if you canít do that, if that is purely impossible, then the best thing to do sometimes is simply to leave.