Monday, November 4, 2013

Thug Life Halloween

How was your Halloween? Mine was great, until I got pepper-sprayed by one of my neighbors.

It was Hillbilly Wingnut who sent me staggering to the bathroom to run cold water over my face with the shower head for three-quarters of an hour. I'd been partying with Techno Destructo, The Contender, Thug Life, and Jabberwocky for a few hours up in Techno's room, drinking Potter's whiskey (Portland's well drink of choice!) and smoking weed ... and, everything was looking pretty good: no one was maudlin, being a belligerent jerk, or falling all over themselves. It was going to be a pleasant evening, or so I thought. I don't remember what I was doing downstairs on my floor, but around 4:00 PM Hillbilly Wingnut accosts me out of the blue in the hallway demanding I give him his money back; of course I didn't have any of his money, but he'd been drinking heavily for six days straight and was completely out of his mind. There was a few of us down there and all of us were wearing our WTF faces until the big bastard started pushing me around and then finally blasted me point-blank in the face with pepper spray just before he took the elevator up to his floor.

Needless to say, with all the witnesses standing around at the time — not to mention the cameras in the hallways — my assailant was taken away to jail by the police, and as soon as he returns (he did Friday night, hollering a threat up at my window) eviction proceedings will be filed against him. That's the second time someone in this place has been drunk and gotten sufficiently violent with me to get thrown out onto the streets. The first time occurred just a month after I moved in here; I was drinking Olde English and watching a Cheech and Chong movie with my neighbor at the time, King Kamehameha, when I made the mistake of remarking that I felt that Cheech and Chong's comedy was sophomoric. Before I knew it the guy fell into a berserker rage, followed me to my room, and started strangling me right in my doorway! The cops came then, too, and another tenant ended up huddled in a doorway at nights.

This is one of the reasons I was reluctant to move here, alongside hygiene and pest concerns. It's a sad reality that you're going to be around more sketchy people when you live in subsidized housing, or pretty much if you live anywhere with people who are poor and have lousy credit ratings and/or criminal backgrounds. A couple years ago Thug Life gave me a black eye when I was harassing a neighbor he "did business with", and another time I fell during a tussle with Chipper and caught myself such that I dislocated a bone in my right hand and had to have reconstructive surgery done on it. Why violence and criminality are hallmarks of the lumpenproletariat is beyond the scope of this blog. It's not too hard to reason out, though: for many people this is the last stop before the frightful prospect of dying on the streets, so you have a lot of people who have serious personal and social problems; people ranging from the veteran Burnside Cadillac chauffeur¹ who talks to the voices in her head to the ex-con whose fisticuffs diplomacy carried him through a decades-long battle through the projects. In short, we're the people who learned that we're surrounded by cons and bullies and that no one in authority will be there to protect us or to serve justice on our behalf when we're wronged.

Anyway, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for that guy. He seems like a potentially dangerous person, and very much the retaliating type.

¹ A Burnside Cadillac is an old local name for a shopping cart pushed by a street person, named after Burnside Street, which used to have street people sprawled all over its sidewalks in and near downtown. It used to be the name of our local street newspaper.

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