Saturday, October 1, 2016

Building Security

Guess who I saw enter unit #100 at around 2:55 PM earlier today? I forget his name, but a thuggish jackass who used to live in unit #204 ... until he was forcible evicted by the county sheriff. This is the second time this same chick (with perhaps the building's most annoying yappy dog) has let the guy in; who is needless to say eighty-sixed from the building. I'm telling the building manager Monday that while she doesn't do anything about it (by all rights the lady in unit #100 should be evicted!) I'm going to be bombing every single advocate and lawyer in Portland with messages beseeching aid, or at least advice or referrals. I'm tired of feeling safe only within the confines of my apartment.

Before this creep there was Liam squatting in unit #202, whose intended — and totally strung out on meth and a predatory sleazeball — occupant was reputedly languishing in a hospital. The resident never returned; Liam did twice that I saw, after he was eighty-sixed. There's been a “serious” meeting about this, in which along with the rightful occupant of #210 three others were singled out as suspected drug dealers. Then there was Richard, who used to live in the basement: he attacked a female neighbor and then repeatedly threatened the building manager's life because she filed eviction proceedings for the assault. He, too, has snuck into this building at least once. These are merely the more egregious instances: I saw a street kid crashed out in the lobby a couple Saturdays ago, and last winter I've thrice walked past small clusters of hyperlight zombies warming themselves on the stairs with their post-apocalyptically cobbled BMXs.

Poor people are goddamn riffraff, and that's a huge reason why we're despised by our blue-collar peers (who in America are, at economically, close neighbors). We just don't know how to behave: stolen bikes and piles of needles and trash in camps strewn along Springwater Corridor have cured Clackistanians of the delusion that bums and welfare rats are worth anything better than jail, three to four smashed-out car windows and screaming Four Loko-fueled domestic disputes in Wallace Park, both occurring DAILY, are doing likewise to the yuppies in Northwest Portland. This building has done it to me, too; which underscores yet again my dispute with Portland's poverty pimps' and poverty whores' monomaniacal pursuit of low-income housing “solutions” — quite a number of people simply can't be housed, except maybe in Arkham Asylum or the sunken city R'yleh.

Remember that “serious discussion” I mentioned? Nothing has come of it. If you're going to make a building safe and secure for those of us who aren't into sexual predation, violent assaults, burglary and theft, hoarding mountains of maggots shuffling in giant trash bags (wherein once were things like banana peels and empty tubs of ice cream), and slinging meth or dope (or crack), the following are absolutely necessary: security cameras in the laundry room, the trash room, the lobby, the hallways, and the stairways; and 24/7 staffing, both as a deterrent and to support residents in emergencies. There's not much more that can be done, but those two things are much more effective than a weekday daytime manager who often isn't even in her office when she's supposed to be! Oh, and cameras in the basement and the lobby; good only for confirming that yes, So And So did sneak in and out of the building, by golly!

Maybe that's the idea: make it so Wild Wild West in the hinterlands of American prosperity and civility that we all become so conveniently cutthroat and petty-greedy that we keep the professional and trade wage slaves in line ... if they were to somehow manage to lump all us terrifying sad sacks together and look at us from the news satellites out in orbit, all they would (subliminally) see are the words OBEY!!! In the meanwhile, we'll too busy victimizing each other in a world-sized snake pit to effect the positive changes our so-called betters are themselves already too willfully ignorant or cowardly to be.

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