Richmond Rapist Update

According to KTVU News last night, there was a sixth arrest in the case (Richmond gang rape of a teenage girl). I did not get the prick's name, but will include it later. The minors in the case are to be tried as adults, so that is pleasing to the ear's. (If I were a 15-year-old boy heading to jail or prison I'd be working on my gag reflex. Wouldn't want to piss off anyone.) When the suspects were led into the courthouse (no cameras, please) they had to wear bulletproof vests.

Headshots are more effective anyway.


Nothing But Hate

Richmond, California. Richmond High School. A 15-year-old girl gang raped after her homecoming dance. Beat. Perhaps up to two dozen people witnessed them. Not a single one had the courage to stop it or even try. It may have been recorded by cell phone and put on the Internet. (If you checked it out perhaps you'll be snagged for viewing child pornography. One can hope.)

The girl was with a group of people. Drinking. Not the smartest move. A grounding would have been a fine punishment. Perhaps taking the cell phone. A gang rape and beating? No. Never.

Associated Press today reported that four have been charged ... so far. They are 15, 16, 17 and 19. The 19-year-old is Manuel Ortega. I hope that, if guilty, his cellmates remember his name and his crime. My guess, knowing what I know of rapists and child molesters in prison, is that his life will be filled with wonderful days of forced oral and anal sex. Maybe, once his ass has been reconstructed for the fifth time he will finally understand what his victim went through.

And maybe he's just a dumb fuck who will never get it.

Again, he may not be guilty, but my guess is that the police are going to do their best not to fuck this one up. After all, this crime is disgusting for reasons I don't need to point out, and there are plenty of people up in arms over it.

It makes me wish more people believed in vigilante justice. You know -- arson, terror, beatings, murder (if necessary). I don't feel bad saying that. People act like these cowardly rapists do for several reasons, and one of those reasons is that they don't fear the consequences. Why else would people film their crimes? Yeah, for the infamy, but they also just don't get it or care. And why should they? Far too many people aren't forced to suffer for their transgressions. Far too many.

When I think of a 15-year-old engaging in a gang rape and beating of another 15-year-old, I think that teen is long gone. I don't believe he can be rehabilitated and shown the "error of his ways." In time, sure. But I think karma has got to grab him by the nuts and put the fear of God into his moist little mouth. I want him to feel as violated as the girl, and I want his family looked at. If they contributed to the creation of this monster, they should pay, too. As a town, Richmond should be looking at all these people and their families and deciding exactly what they want to do with them.

Rapists and child molesters fill me with rage. I want them to hurt, to burn, to suffer. If given the chance, I'd do it to them myself. I can think of many unique and splendid tortures to visit upon some needing soul. I'd feel no remorse, either. In fact, I'd enjoy it. I feel no shame in saying that. Part of self-awareness is admitting what you are, and I can be a monster in the right circumstances.

But I'd never rape someone, or engage in a gang rape, or be witness to it.


Ladies, I wish you carried guns. I wish you fucked up people who did you wrong. Do it enough and the message starts to get out.

Richmond, California, what bred your monsters? What created this situation? What destroyed a teen girl, who probably wishes she were dead at this point? What made these teen pieces of human shit think they could do this and not suffer?

God, could you imagine what would happen if one of these little shits had a disease like AIDS or Hep C and inadvertently gave it to the others? (I somehow doubt they thought to wear condoms.) Geez, that would really suck.

Every one of those fuckers who engaged in the crime deserves to die. Every one of those cowardly pigs who witnessed it and did nothing deserve a beating of such a scope that it leaves them crippled for life. Anyone who sought it out on the web deserves jail time.

I don't expect the justice system to dole out the proper punishment, but I expect General Population to do the job. And if by some miracle these walking wastes of flesh don't do time, I expect the citizens of Richmond to show them what street justice really looks like.

Monsters. Each and every one of them.


Pot City, USA

I just got done watching the end of Pot City, USA, an investigation of pot culture in Humboldt County, California. I saw it on A&E, though I believe it ran elsewhere first.

A few disclaimers.

I wish to see all drugs decriminalized for various reasons.

I have never smoked pot and most likely never will. I find pot smokers to be (and this is speaking in general terms) lazy and annoying.

I hate Arcata, California. In fact, I would give money to Al Qaida to hit there if I thought it would help. The place is a pit of hippies surrounded by a fog of body odor and pot smoke. The best thing that could happen to the little town would be a 9.5 earthquake followed by a big-ass tsunami.

Back to the show.

Pot City, USA lets viewers around the country see exactly what is happening in Humboldt County, and most notably Arcata, California. For all the money pot has brought in, it's also forced people to look elsewhere for affordable housing, has destroyed homes, has brought more crime and has drained the city's resources. Pot growers are among the group that want to keep it illegal, too, because profits matter more than freedom. The special showed exactly how the image of the carefree hippie doesn't exactly fit what is going on in Arcata where a two bedroom house can go from $950 to $1600 overnight because landlords get infected with that same greed (never thinking of how the home they own will be destroyed). Green is what rules these people, and it's not the kind you smoke. The pot growers are just as capitalistic as those fuckers at Bear Stearns, only they tend to be a bit more dangerous.

If you, fortunate reader, have never been to Arcata, consider yourself lucky. If you manage to make it past the gauntlet of pan handlers, you then have to avoid the house fires as some jerry-rigged home electric supply (which looks like a mutated octopus) sparks and sets a mold-ridden dwelling into flames. If you get by that, you may find yourself confronted by a New Yorker who wants to know why you are outside his house, never realizing that you just stopped to chat on your cell phone.

Greed isn't only "good," it's also dangerous.

Decriminalizing pot will solve a lot of problems (and bring a host of others to be but one thing that it will do and do very well is drive the price down. Do that and grow houses suddenly lose their luster.

I know people who are involved in the pot trade. I know those who grow and those who trim. They are fine people by all counts (complete with the previously mentioned laziness and memory loss that is concomitant with consistent pot smoking), but we agree to disagree on the topic of legalization. On one hand, they admit it would be great if it were decriminalized as that would mean less of a jail risk. (Let's be honest, though. This is Humboldt. Your risk of jail here is low.) On the other hand, though, they understand they'll see profits go lower than Emmanuel Lewis' left testicle. The political message and the freedom of the population just don't matter when you are looking at profits.

As I've written before, Humboldt's economy is driven by pot. Decriminalization will have a negative effect ... if only temporarily. The greater good of society, however, demands that this be done. Outsiders who come into Arcata to chase fortune see it differently,though. Honestly, I don't give two shits about their profit. They can go back to New York, Oklahoma, Hawaii and every other fucking place they came here from. I'm worried about the future of the place I call home. I want to know that my neighbors are my neighbors and not some outlander who wants to play farmer. Fuck that.

Welcome to Humboldt, pot heads. Now leave. Let the locals handle their business they way they have been doing for years, and go play hippie elsewhere.
Miss the rain and days of rage.


Happy Assassination Day

Tomorrow, October 16, marks a very special day. It is the day that marks the first technical assassination.

I'm a big fan of assassination. It sends a clear message to those in charge that they aren't untouchable. If you're of a certain age you can even identify the picture I used here. It's from when Reagan was shot. Happy days are here again ...

Anyway, in 1092 Nizam al-Mulk, who was Persia's Vizier of Nihavand, found himself on the wrong end of the followers of the Old Man of the Mountain, Hassan Ben Sabbah. These hashhashins (the root word of "assassin") did what they needed to do and let the world know that nobody was immune.

On an unrelated note, it's also Boss' Day.

A Great Prank

This is from a TV show in Japan, I believe. I love pranks like this. By the way, the set up is that this is a job interview.

Hidden camera sniper prank - Watch more Funny Videos


Cut Wide and Deep

I have this sense that there is a change coming. I can't put my finger on it, but I don't think it's a good change. I sense people are withdrawing deeper inside themselves (a bad place to be, but truly the only safe place). I feel like the storm that was supposed to rock the Northcoast actually found sanctuary in some people I know instead. It remains there, brewing. Building. Festering like a pus-filled wound.

The Dead Kennedys have a song called "Cesspools in Eden." There's a line that says (and I'm paraphrasing ... maybe), "Come lick the pus from my open sores." I've always found that to be an image that is equal parts disgusting and erotic.

As a species, we share fluids to reproduce. We spread disease the same way. You got to wonder if maybe those things are one in the same.

While at work today I dealt with three decidedly insane people. Like drooling insane (there's the fluids again). I started to wonder how fine a line there was between "us" and "them." I think it is a lot thinner than any of us will admit to. When it comes to my friends, I think some of them are at a breaking point. It worries me. I don't want to end up running with the black dog, so to speak.

People have different ways of dealing with all this. Some withdraw deeper inside themselves. Others lash out. It takes a truly touched and special individual to be able to ignore all the insanity around them. Most of us try to get through our day without letting it touch us, without taking in any of the fluids. We know it doesn't always work, but we try. We know some gets in, but we try. We just do our best to make sure the levels don't get too high. We try to stop before we hit the pus, so to speak.

But what can we do?

To be human is, quite simply, to suffer. We learn very early on that life is a series of disappointments offset by occasional bursts of joy. Most times we just hope to be content. We hope for a moment's peace and ask nothing more from it lest we jinx it. The realist knows that we are surrounded by fools, and that can't be ignored.

If you ever wondered about our sanity ... we live in a world where Medicare recipients demand that government get its hands out of health care. We live in a world when men with cameras follow around Paris Hilton, thus ensuring that more men with cameras have to follow her around so that nobody is scooped. We live in a world where people who get their drugs ripped off call the police to report a robbery. We live in a world that is more content with watching people "surviving" on a island somewhere than it is with actually knowing the members of the Supreme Court.

If you aren't crazy now, you aren't paying attention

I worry if I'm doing enough for my friends. I worry about what I can say. What I can do. I know, however, that I can't do much of anything when someone is drowing in a flood of misery. But even I could do something, I wonder if they would want it done.

Misery doesn't love company ... but it's not picky when it comes to its friends. I hope you guys are okay (and you know if this refers to you). If not, I'm willing to listen. Just don't expect me to suckle at your sores.


Black Rain

The rain is here. A nice, huge storm moved up against California in the dead of night with floods, mudslides, power outages, high winds, flooding and thunderstorms expected. Some areas are looking at five to eight inches of rain. Brutal.

I love the rain and the chaos that comes with it. It cleans the filth from the streets. It reminds me of my place in this world. Weather often does that. Powerless to stop it. A victim of its forces. It makes you feel alive ... when it isn't busy killing you.

Enjoy the rain, Humboldt. May this be the first of a very wet season.


All Women Are Bad

She made a mess of him. It was obvious to all who knew him. But who really knew him?

The guns were laid out on the bed. There were around seven of them. Rifles. Cheap. He stole them from work. He was in the backyard shooting one.

Brian is not his real name, but that's what I'll call him here. Brian would talk between shots. Say a few words. Fire. A few more words. Another sharp crack. He was firing into a paper target. He wouldn't say it, but I know he was picturing it as her face, every bullet doing its best to wipe it from his psyche.

Brian was a loner. Holding that rifle he reminded me of a Lee Harvey Oswald type, but without the pathos. He was a man out of time. Not really caring what people thought of him. He had connections. He knew how to acquire things. When we went to New York, he got us into some indoor black market run by shady Vietnamese. "You want food? Weapons? Fireworks?" the man asked. He was missing fingers. Brian only shook his head and we were in.

Brian didn't hate Melinda, also not her real name. Not in the way you hate a fellow male. He hated her in the way a man hates a woman he loves. He hates what she can do to him. He hates how she can make him feel. He hates feeling weak, and he hates that she does that to him.

Another shot. The paper target is held to its anchor by three corners of the paper now. One corner is flapping in the slight breeze. It is Fall. The leaves are changing, and all I can think about is how there is a shitload of stolen weapons on his bed.

Crack. The sound echoes off the trees. He doesn't want to talk about her. In a little over a year, she would be all he could talk about.

I ran into him two years after the shooting. He was with his mother, who was as ever blissfully ignorant of what was going on around her. He told me that she messed him up. Made him rethink everything she was. To prove he was messed up, he held his hand up in front of my face. He couldn't stop it from shaking. "I'm a different man now," he said. "She fucked me up, Doug."

So she did.

Melinda was a free spirit who was attracted to danger. More mature than most girls her age. She had an air of Other World about her. She seemed foreign, sometimes crass. She always talked as if she knew something you didn't. She was pretty. No doubt there. She believed that sex was magic and magic was sex, and years later -- after the shooting -- she became a stripper. Not because she needed the money. She did it for the power. No doubt she was good at it, too. No doubt she was powerful. She sure put a spell on Brian.

Their relationship was rocky, to say the least. There was equal parts love and hate. When I saw one of them, they were always without the other. She started to fear for her live, and he started to claim that she was destroying his.

He didn't trust her anymore. "She's playing mind games with me, Doug. I don't know which way is up." His actions were scaring her. The stolen weapons were just one more thing. He didn't see it that way, though. He had always been this way. He hadn't changed. She, of course, had.

I slowly shifted my time around so I was spending more time with her. She wasn't as scary. Brian was sometimes incomprehensible. He was going off on tangents. He didn't like anyone or anything but her.

Melinda was as stable as someone like herself could be. She knew it wasn't going well, though. He scared her ... bad. He was prone to violence, though he hadn't hit her. She could sense it was coming, though. It was only a matter of time.

His accusations were all over the place. She was screwing every guy she came into contact with if you were to believe him. Including me. I wasn't sleeping with her, but it was close. Intimate is a good word. When he pulled a knife on me and told me he'd kill me if he found out I was fucking her, he meant it. Another knife was pulled. Not by me, but by a friend. It quickly turned into a fight, and while nobody was stabbed, it ended with all of us laughing it off and attempting to toss a girl's car off a cliff. I believe we stopped because we feared she'd only stick around longer.

Had he known about those late nights, the discussions, the touches ... I'd have that blade three inches deep in my throat. I was as sure of that as I was as sure that those guns on his bed were not a good thing.

Everybody in our circle knew he was on edge. Knew he was a threat to her safety and our's. It was so bad that I used the common knowledge of his anger to pull a prank to make her house look like he murdered her there. The cops ended up being called. They were not happy. Later, that house would be the scene of the shooting.

Brian was the perfect example of what can happen when the wrong woman gets under your skin. He was the epitome of "turned around." There is a part of me that remains convinced she knew exactly what she was doing to him and enjoyed doing it. She manipulated me. She enjoyed that. I couldn't say I minded, either.

When he came to her house that night, he was furious. He got me on the phone. Told me he knew what was going on. Told me she told him. Told me if I was there when he got there, he was going to kill me. I had been on my way out anyway, but I got out of there faster. I remembered those guns on that bed. I remember the way those bullets tore that paper target apart. I remember the echo the bullets made as they ripped through the air. I remembered his face when he pulled that knife. I remember thinking he was never stable to begin with, but now he sounded absolutely apeshit.

By all accounts, he came up the steps after her, and she barricaded herself in her room. He did not like that. He tried to break down the door. She panicked.

I don't know where she got the gun. I don't think it was one of his, but I remember hearing that he may have given it to her as some kind of token of his affection. Funny thing, too, 'cause that's what she used to put a bullet in him.

In the movies, the bullet would have grazed a lung or something. We already know he lived. I made that apparent. It would have been a life changing wound. He would be near death and somehow come to his senses when he stabilized. It wasn't the movies, though. It was real life and things are never that neat. In fact, the real world is made up of ugly, beastly people making ugly, beastly mistakes and getting away with them.

The bullet just clipped his foot, but it was enough for both of them. They saw how out of hand the situation had become, and everything changed. This woman, who was playing a game with a man, who, like all men, was emotionally stunted when it came to female, got scared and got smart. She stopped playing the game and she got out. Brian was not so lucky.

Once a woman gets under that skin, it's hard to get her out. You start replaying every moment of your history. You wonder where things went wrong. You think about what you could have done differently. You never see that maybe, just maybe, you were played. That is worse than thinking you were just ignorant. When you're ignorant you can claim you're in love. It works. The problem is, that woman can leave you, but the memories linger on.

And that shit can tear you apart.

When I ran into him years later, I hadn't talked to him in any way shape or form in some time. I didn't ask mutual friends about him. I didn't care. As far as I was concerned, he still had issues with me, and I wanted no part of that.

He was in the passenger seat of his mother's car. His hand was shaking. When he shot those stolen guns his hands were calm, smooth, tamed. Now he looked like he had nerve damage. He was talking about how she "fucked him up."

"I'm better now," he said, showing me his hand again. "It's all right."

The Cramps sang that "all women are bad." The song paints them as devils. But they are devils you desire. You know this going in, and yet you still pursue them. You can try as hard as you want, too, but if they want to get under that flesh, they will do it. They know the buttons to push. They know how to bend you, break you, take you. And we let them because that bending, breaking and taking is so damn delightful.

I watched the car pull away. He wasn't all right. His mother was driving him around. His hands were shaking. She was gone, but she still had her hooks in him. She didn't have to say anything, see him or even write a letter. Her existence was enough.

I eventually got back into my car and drove home. I thought back to that final phone call, the last discussion I had with him up until I saw him in the IGA parking lot just a half hour ago. I thought of how he sounded then and how he sounded now ... and I noticed my hands were shaking just a bit.


Almost 24 Hours of No Sleep

I have been up since three a.m. due to the normal no sleep issues and a sick child. Parents can I get a "what, what"? I should be asleep, but I'm so far beyond sleep that I can't do it. Should be editing the cannibal manuscript, but I'm not in the right state of mind. Instead, I'll amuse myself here and hopefully amuse you, too, dear reader.

Random thoughts ...

I work with this guy. He's in my unit. Officially he's an Office Assistant. He's damn good at his job, though. Too good for it, actually. He also fits into the unit in a way that can only be described as "uncanny." If you are one of the few who knows my unit, you know how hard it is for someone to fit in. Anyway, his birthday just passed, and I'm the ray of sunshine that gets the cards and distributes them to people to sign. I was supposed to bring in his card today, but with my daughter being sick I didn't venture forth into the world of free food and medical benefits. I did write out his card, however. I wrote about how he was a great guy and so on, and that I was his number one fan. I then signed it "M. Chapman."

I have nothing against homosexuals. I honestly don't care whose genitalia you want to wrap your tongue around. I care about your sexuality about as much as I care about your favorite color (though I do get to hear a lot of people's sexual quirks because people open up to me, I keep my mouth shut, I don't judge, and I attract strangeness). That said, I don't understand how you can see a naked woman and not understand the power that is there and be attracted to it. The curves of a woman are a work of nature at its finest. Power is sexy. Therefore, woman are sexy. Men are all jutting awkwardness. The spasm. I don't get it. I also don't get why women like us. How the hell is Mel Gibson sexy? I like The Road Warrior, but come on! He's a drunk Jesus freak. By that standard, Baby Bush had to be wet-your-panties hot.

I know a lot about weird things. Cannibalism. Necrophilia. Bestiality. Trepanation. Revenge. Serial killers. Exploitation cinema. Torture techniques. Infrasound. Freaks. Satanism. Fascist theory. Pornography. Other paraphilias. Thinking of that, why does anyone talk to me? I mean, just because I have a working knowledge of these things (as a writer of dark fiction, it's kind of my job), it doesn't mean I will act upon them. But most people don't get that. So why do people talk to me?

I need a new tattoo and possibly a new piercing. I would like an "X" tattooed between my eyes if only because it would tell people to stay away from me. Not a single person I've spoken to about this, however, thinks it is a good idea. They are probably correct.

I think that all these conservative talk radio hosts are slowly stirring the pot and the almost inevitable outcome of their ratings mongering hate talk is going to be an attempt an the president's life. I give it a year tops. Someone is going to try to take him out, and I think it will be connected to the likes of Fox News and especially Glenn Beck. What I want to know is: Why won't someone go after Beck like he goes after the president? Dig into his past. Drag shit out. He still hasn't proven he didn't rape and murder that girl. Right, Beck? Look it up. It's on the Internet!

Most fantasy fiction sucks. So does a lot of sci-fi. Fantasy is just sadder, though.

Insane Clown Posse fans are morons. Straight out. I have never met a smart ICP fan. I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't met one. One day I will cover this in my music blog, Satanic Music For Good Children. I can't prove it with scientific certainity, but I'm willing to bet a large sum of money that the majority of the band's fans would have a hard time with a standard test.

Quantum physics fascinates me. I think we have just started scratching the surface of all this, though, and once we figure out exactly what created the universe, a new universe will appear if only by thought. It's going on eleven p.m.. I last slept at 3 a.m.. Give me a fucking break.

I once vandalized a sign advertising my workplace. In the dead of night I used sparkling gold spray paint and defaced it. What did I write? "Jesus is dead. You're next!" That did not stay up long.

Sushi (not raw fish, idiot) is a perfect food. The rice is a bear, though, but it is worth it.

I think everyone has deep, dark secrets. I like to get them out of people. I like to know what makes them tick. I like to hear of the things that they don't want the world to know. There is something raw and exciting about that, and it puts them into context.

Revenge separates us from the animals. So does an unhealthy obsession with college basketball brackets.

Okay, now I'm going to bed.

Stupid - 3, Doug - 0

My daughter, who is sick today, has taken to calling plenty of people "idiots." She gets that from me. She is rarely wrong in her assessments. Here are three incidents from the past two days.

Case One: I am the Universe, the Universe is Me.

I was in Safeway picking up bread. Sunday night. Around 7:30. As per usual,there were two tellers on. I had bread and bananas, so I went into the express line. The limit in said line is 15 items or less. There was one girl in front of me who was in her twenties. In front of her was an older woman with a cart full of items. In front of her was a woman using WIC vouchers. For some reason WIC always screws up a teller.

The woman with the cart full of items was who I was interested in. From what I could see, she had 15 items exactly, but I was convinced there were more hidden behind her mineral water bottles.

While waiting for the teller to figure out the WIC vouchers, the old lady turned to the younger lady in front of me and randomly said, "Younger people always have some place to go and something to do."

The younger woman could only nod. Hell, I wouldn't know how to answer that.

When the older woman finally got to go, I counted 18 items. 18. That was three over the limit. Did Lori the teller tell her? No. Lori let it go. Thanks, Lori. You hate your job. We get it.

The total came to $57.12. The older woman busted out her checkbook. You would think she would have the check partially written out ahead of time. Nope. Then she had to write it over the total so she could get forty bucks back. U.S. Bank must be happy to have her as a customer. She only took five minutes to endorse the check.

Lori asked the woman if she needed help with the bags, as is customary at Safeway. She replied in the negative, and then proceeded to block the narrow aisle while she counted her two twenties.

The younger girl ahead of me eventually made her way past, and then it was my turn. The bread went over the scanner.

"Excuse me," the older woman said. "I think I would like someone to help me with my bags."

She avoided my gaze. Good thing, too. Had she said one flip thing to me, one apologetic thing, I would have unleashed on her like a drunk husband who is sick of having pasta every-other-fucking-meal!

Case Two: We Are Trapped in Paperwork

I took my girl to the doctor. There was, as there always is, an issue. Since it wasn't under my insurance, they had to find HIPPA papers to see if they could treat her. HIPPA, for those that don't know, is supposed to protect your medical privacy. Medical offices violate it the most. This time, however, was an exception. After talking to me and calling my ex-wife, they finally decided I could have my daughter treated. When I get home, this is what is on my answering machine.

"This is [the doctor's office]. We have [your daughter] in for treatment. Mr. Brunell, we were wondering if you could give consent to this treatment."

Seeing as I was at the doctor's office giving consent that they weren't accepting, I could understand why they would try to reach me at home as if I were in some weird David Lynch film. Suppose someone would've answered. Would the receptionist have said, "Well, you can't give consent here, but we reached you at home where you did give consent. Unfortunately, if we reached you at home, you can't be here, and that means you don't exist, so we can't very well see your daughter."

Case Three: I Don't Know What the Fuck I'm Doing and Have Never Been Here Before

The post office. The young woman has a box under one hand and a baby under the other. The woman looks to be about 23 years of age. Old enough to drink, fuck and get shot for stupidity.

The box under her arm is closed ... barely. Not taped up. We are in line waiting for a window to open. It will be a while as a passport is getting processed.

Finally, it's the young mom's turn. She puts the box on the counter and tells the teller, "I need to mail this."

The teller looks at the woman like she's insane. "Okay. First, you need to address it. Then you need to tape it up."

The young woman doesn't even look pissed. She just looks incredulous. "Um, okay. Do you have tape?"

"We have Priority tape. Do you want to ship it Priority?"

"Is that more?"

Affirmative, Ghost Rider.


"I can sell you tape."

"Okay. So how do I address this?"

"With a label?"

"Do you have labels?"

"I have Priority labels."

I shit you not. She took an essentially open box with no address to the post office to be mailed. I guess she thought they were psychic or something. What the fuck?

Stupid got me. Three zip. I need a vacation to Oxford or something.


I Want a New Drug

The first three days of any given month in Humboldt County is a test of one's willpower. How long will you be able to maintain control and civility when a vast majority of the people around you (who have struck "pay day") are tweaking out of control? By day three I've had it.

The post office. On the streets. In the mall. It is as unavoidable as a Romero-inspired zombie plague. Their eyes scan the horizon looking for a fix, a face they remember, or something to steal. They roam the streets on hot bikes, looking for their dealer. In two weeks they'll be looking for loose items in cars. They congregate at the Heroin Hilton run by everyone's favorite slum lord Squires.

It's enough to make you want to burn sections of town down and start all over again.

Meth is the drug of choice here after pot. Pot, however, does not cause the same sores, twitchy movements and insane paranoia that is all too common with meth abusers. It is sad, tragic and downright dangerous. Heavy coats on when we're having one of our heatwaves. Pleading eyes from skinny girls trying to look sexy as they roam the streets, working those jaw muscles loose. Uncontrollable smiles in a mouth filled with teeth ready to fall out when the next breeze hits.

And to think Nazis used this stuff.

The first three days of any given month. Three days to watch people you thought were dead (because they look it), attempting to stand in line at the grocery store, unaware they are moving like we're in an earthquake. Three days of trying your best to avoid any conversation with anyone who looks like they might be under the influence. Three days of watching them dart out in front of your car and you wondering if you'll really get in that much trouble if your foot slips off the brake.

Humboldt County is a tolerant place. We let a lot of stuff go here. Part of that freedom involves dealing with this because the cops sure as hell want nothing to do with it. How would you like knowing any call to a meth related crime could involve you walking into a place where you should be wearing a hazmat suit (and I'm not kidding). Would you be quick to respond, or would you wait for the inevitable explosion to come and take care of the problem? I'd wait for the explosion. The kids in the house don't have any such luxury, however.

Three days. How fast can they burn through their money? If the bodies on the street are any indication -- fast. Damn fast. SSD becomes a distant dream in the hands of a meth addict. SSI is the same thing.

This addiction has taken its toll on the population. It is in the eyes of people who look like they either don't care or want to get off the ride but don't know how.

Three days. I can hear them outside my window, and I live in a quiet neighborhood (this is an anomaly). A passerby on the street. Screaming about needing an inhaler. Don't know if he's meth addicted or just mad. I've given up trying because I think you can pretty much throw a rock and hit someone under the influence of the drug these days.

Three days. And then it's back to the predator eyes ... for those who can still open them.
Victory. Eleven one.
7~0 at half. Daughters team up.