Friday, February 12, 2021

homeless nations: Key West and the Kingdom of Trump

I dreamed during a nap yesterday of my homeless woman friend in Key West. I dreamed last night of going to Key West, aka The Conch Republic, and spending a while in its homeless shelter on Stock Island, the island just above Key West.

My friend is in the county jail on Stock Island, again, for being where Key West police officers had told her not to be: the grounds of one of the Key West shopping centers. She is permitted to used the stores in the shopping centers, but she is not suppose to hang out there. There was a time when she rode her bicycle some distance to a city park, where she was allowed to hang out during the day, as long as she sat on a bench or bare ground, but not on a towel or blanket, like tourists do, because that violated the city's no camping ordinance, which was not applied against tourists or locals, who were not homeless. 

My friend's physical health deteriorated over the years, and riding her bicycle, loaded with her meager worldly possessions, to a city park to spend the day, and to the distant homeless shelter adjacent to the county jail, is not easy for her to do anymore. Perhaps not possible for her to any more. On a regular basis. Which means she hunkers down somewhere outside at night to sleep and risk being put in jail if she is caught by city police. 

The previous time she was arrested for trespass and jailed, my friend said she asked the cops to lock her bicycle to a bike rack. They said her bike was not their concern, although the law requires cops to secure and protect an arrested person's belongings on hand at the time of the arrest. When she was finally released from jail, she could not find her bicycle. She said she asked God to find her bicycle and return it to her, with her personally belongings that were on the bicycle when she was arrested, including books I had given her, which I had written. A homeless man she knew then showed up on her bicycle, with some of her persona belongings, including the books. He had found it lying on the ground in the CVS parking lot on Stock Island, quite a ways from where my friend was arrested in  Key West. He knew it was her  bicycle, and where she hung out. So, he brought it to  her.

When Category 5 Hurricane Irma approached Key West in late August 2017, my friend called to say, when she woke up that morning, she saw two huge arms and hands come down through the clouds and nudge Irma slightly eastward. As Irma then bore in on Key West, she veered slightly eastward, and presented her "clean" (weak) side to Key West, instead of a direct hit and her "dirty" (nasty) side. Key West was spared the terrible trashing experienced 20 miles above Key West up to Key Largo. My friend miraculously found a public bathroom that was unlocked, where she rode out the weak side and the tidal surge that covered the lower-elevation parts of Key West. My friend is a seer. That's why Irma was nudged slightly eastward. I explained that many times on my blog, and to city officials.

Since Covid-19 came, my friend has been jailed 3 times for a month or so. She is put into quarantine for 14 days, allowed one hour a day to shower, order from commissary, make a phone call using money in her inmate phone account, and hang out in the exercise yard. As far as I know, she is  the only homeless woman in the jail, for a "homeless" offense. I pay for her cell phone bill each month, and paid for her to get a smart phone to replace a flip phone. Sometimes I send her money for other things she needs. She gets some money from her mother. She says she wears a mask. I can't imagine wearing a mask all the time, but in Key West you can be arrested and jailed, if you are homeless, for not wearing a mask. If you are not homeless, the officer tells you about the mask ordinance. If you are a tourist, what do you care? No way you get arrested for not wearing a mask. 

Right, Key West is a BLUE stronghold. Its official philosophy, made so years ago by the city commission, is One Human Family. There is a vault in the city cemetery to intern the cremated remans of homeless people who died. There is a solemn annual ceremony attended by elected and hired city officials, local ministers and civil activists, who speak for the recently and past dead homeless people, even though not one of the speakers was homeless one day, or spent one night in the city's homeless shelter, or ate one meal in the city's soup kitchen, before the church that operated the kitchen, closed it to build affordable housing there for down and out people, some of whom were active addicts, some were not addicts. I ate hundreds of meals in the soup kitchen. I spent maybe 100 nights in the homeless shelter, until I was banned for life, after writing on my blog about the shelter and the people who ran it and what I saw at the shelter, and for writing that homeless addicts, who  kept using, would be bettor off dead, than continuing to live in that way.

My homeless friend was one of those homeless addicts. According to her, she stopped drinking last year and has since been sober. She still smokes cigarettes sometimes. She tries to stay out of trouble. She is targeted by city police. The local judge, before whom she always ends up, is tired of seeing her. I told her yesterday, if I were that judge, and she  was before me again, I would tell the city police that I don't want to see her again over a homeless crime, and if I do see her again over a homeless crime, I will put the arresting officers in the county jail for violating my order. 

I thought about all of that last night, as I watched liberal TV pundits wring their hands over the possibility that not enough Republicans in the U.S. Senate will vote to convict Donald Trump, who seems to me to be guilty beyond all doubt of inciting insurrection. Yet, it won't surprise me if the most dangerous American, ever, gets off, while my homeless friend keeps getting targeted by Key West police and put in the county jail. Key West's alternative homeless shelter, for which service the city pays the county sheriff nothing to board and feed and provide medical care for jailed homeless inmates. All, every bit of it, knowingly sanctioned and approved by the BLUE city mayor, city commissioners, city manager, city attorney, and police chief. They view my friend as homeless. In God's Kingdom, she lives in a palace and they are homeless.

Meanwhile, I think Donald Trump should be exiled to Guantanamo for his remaining days, and Republican Senators who do not vote to convict should join him there. I think the Key West city officials identified above, and the cops who keep arresting and jailing my friend for being homeless, should be homeless for the rest of their l lives. I think they will hear about that from God after they leave this life, or sooner. I think Republican Senators, and Republicans generally, who do not convict Donald Trump, will hear about that from God in the afterlife, or sooner. I think they will learn just how homeless they were when they thought God was on their side.

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