11/16/2021 Venice Beach California

Sunset was not cancelled as I had so feared. It was a hazy day. The thick air is rough on my sinuses. Head pressure and joints reminding me I am but a pawn for the whims of my environment.

I love it here so much

A homeless guy who I see around town was having a particularly boisterous reaction to crack today. This was not an assumption. He vocalized it to every open ear around. The manic episodes are so under researched, this person needed help. He was clearly a danger to himself and was riding the razor’s edge of being a danger to all around. The episodes seem silly but they are not. For the sake of my blog we will just call him D, and he is kind and generous. He is always complimenting my “guns” and asking for workout advice. He ALWAYS offers me something that he has. Packs of peanuts, both salted and chocolate covered. Anything he has he shares. He is a human being and the last I saw of him tonight he was standing in a trash can on the boardwalk shouting at all who passed doing the only thing they can… pretend he isn’t there.

I don’t know what the solution is or if there even is one, but this world can be indifferent and intolerant, and when people break we have to do better for them. That is somebody’s child.

“I AM IN LOVE WITH EVERY MINUTE OF MY LIFE”

I saw this and I love it. This is the level. This is the extent it needs to go. This is where the line needs to be drawn. Regardless of what happens at any moment, in that moment, you are the youngest you will ever be again, the oldest you have ever been, and the clock is ticking. Run! Run like the darkness is chasing towards everything and everyone you love. Live bigger and live better each and every day, and don’t forget to dream!!

Guess where I saw the quote? Of all the places to see the best mantra I have encountered since adolescence… it was propped on the back of a truck in a homeless encampment. Not an errant scrap. Placed with proud purpose on the back of a truck, surrounded by well tended potted plants and a few flowers. An expression of what is good in the world, and shared wisdom I beg anyone reading this to carry with them into each and every day.

I could listen to this over and over again. And I absolutely do. I recommend turning it way way up.

There has been so much learned in the last 2 years. The world is not led by competent people. The systems in place are fragile, and unravel at the slightest disruption. Things are changing at a remarkable pace. Some fall into fear and claim for the umpteenth time in the last 2 millennia that this change is going to be the one that consumes us all. I have largely turned off the news. I don’t give a shit. I am on a no bullshit diet.

My apartment came with a TV and Direct TV is included with my rent. I have not turned it on once. It is redundant. It is predictable. It is all bullshit. I am on a no bullshit diet.

If any of this doesn’t seem like the same old shit let me quote a passage from Come Hell or High Water by Gregory Jaynes. Here Jaynes is telling the story of returning to journalism when one night in 1967 he hears 4 white police officers beating the “dickens” out a black sanitation worker and dares to write about it in the press.

“… I wrote this in the paper and the four officers were suspended. It became a racial issue: cops white; victim black. Later in the year a Civil Service commission reinstated the cops. At the time, the city’s Sanitation Department, which is to say the city’s Negro garbagemen, was in contract negotiations. Dismissing the police-brutality charges was viewed by union leaders as one more intolerable racial slight on the part of the city. In time, the garbagemen went on strike. Their placards said: I AM A MAN. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Memphis to lead them in a march.”

1967 proclaiming I AM A MAN. Over 50 years later and still fighting simply to MATTER.

It’s enough to make you want to smoke crack, jump in a trash can, and let everyone know that this all isn’t ok.

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. That is all it takes. If nothing else, be obnoxiously grateful for every passing moment. Remember fond memories. Reach out to old friends and talk about the best of them. Show love to those who show you love. Show even more to those who don’t. They need it the most. Most of all do not tolerate bullshit. I am on a no bullshit diet. I highly recommend it.

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