Me, Too?

Lola Bean - Posted on 18 November 2010





I found an earring on the dashboard of the cab.  It inclined my ears toward listening for metaphysical ghosts, chanting dirges from a past fraught with failure.  Whoever abandoned this truck was probably a big burly guy who paid no nevermind to tell tale aromas, but whose heart was broken somehow by a woman who should've been wearing the earring that I found.
It was resting innocently enough on the turn signal switch, seemingly never to be worn by this illustrious woman of mystery.  It broke apart in my hand when I fiddled with it. Whoops. Ow.

Echoes of the remnants off this man's misplaced or displaced love reverberated with a melancholy melody that was as palpable as the mustiness in the air. Rolling the windows down partways helped some, but endangered my personal safety at the same time. No rotting food, no far gone amount of trash but the lingering, somewhat haunting aura that encompassed the cab was
tactile to me.  

But what could I do?

Just feel bad, and try to make myself as comfortable and safe as remotely possible.  Try to sleep until it was light out again.  At which time it was a "good morning world," a wave to all my friends in heaven and a quick prayer to ask God to bless another day and my being in it.  Thanks.   Then, you can probably guess what comes next.  That's right.  Potty time.  Ease out of  the truck and squat where (hopefully) no one can see me.  Grab some paper on the way out. Couldn't lock myself  out--the locks are all old school, nothing but manual. I must say, that after drinking whatever it was that I drank the night before, getting to this point quickly and with finesse, was essential to getting the day off to a good start.    

Then, to face the world I just prayed for..  Amen.  Count my money, here we go.
So, into a rather nondescript  morning, I counted my moolah and it came to 12 bucks.  Pretty good, for a daily average for me at that time.  February, 2006 I think. The good people at Real Change will remember...the incident I am about to convey to you, dear reader, ended up being the cover story for one of the issues.  

Anyway, I climbed out of the cab, did my daily business wearing a fair dose of
chagrin on my face (!) and then, trotted down to the nearby bus stop to head into lower Queen Anne...where I would proceed to make my first beer run of the day.  I purchased two 211's, the cheapo classic from the Mercer Mini-Mart. and went back to the bus stop I had just disembarked from.  Everything was fine at that point.  It was about 7:15 in the morning.  I remember looking at my watch in the daylight and was surprised at being up so early.  But that was okay.

Wait until I tell you what happened next. I figured that I would be okay drinking
my "wake-up" at the stop, as long as I was discreet about it.  So, I went ahead and took out my sony walkman and my headphones and began listening to a Jackson Browne tape--the one with the song--"Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate" on it. It's the last song on one side. I was jammin' along, but not being a nuisance to anybody.  I remember talking to a few people headed off to the university or off to work.  All was cool, or so I thought.    

There was only one other person off to the side...a woman a little older than myself, and looking rather
bored with the world--like she watched a little too much television--and, as far as I could tell, she could care less about me. I went ahead and sang my heart out on that last song. It's such a powerful song--there's really no other way to sing it.  I can still recall the lingering silence that followed in the was as if the trees, the birds-- even the lawns and shrubs seemed to be applauding....You either know what I mean or you don't!  Well, it was after that sweet moment, I turned and faced the bench to put my equipment away.  Show's over, folks. 

My beer was about empty, so my plan was to throw the can away in the nearby garbage can, and saunter on down to Larry's for coffee and a little tidying up.  It was then that I learned that Officer Choi had other plans for me.  I noticed the cop car pull up out of the corner of my eye I didn't really give it much thought.  AT FIRST. I remember thinking it might be some DV ruckus or rigamarole--nothing to do with me.  WRONG! Officer Choi attacked me from behind with no warning,no "Stop! Police!"  Nothing like that. He threw his hands on my back, and grabbed ahold of my jacket. Then, he cast me to the ground, held me down with my face over the curb, into the ditch.  And all he said, over and over again was "Where's your I.D.?"   And I'm thinkin' "What the ----?" He was holding my arms in back of me--how was I to get to my I.D.?  Then, he pulled me up and threw me over the hood ofhis car. At one point, the officer actually had me by the hair, face down in the gutter.

 It was at least dry.

I'm sure I was screaming by then, if I could, but no one driving by stopped. One man took a cell phone video, but what, if anything, did he do with it?  I put flyers out in the area about two weeks later, but no one came forward.  Not even Corona Jim.        

Well, there's more to this story, but my eyes are too tired to continue.  With this
food for thought...John T. had headphones on.  He was shot in the side. The officer in both incidents was working alone.  

There was really no reason for provocation, no need for vicious violence...I lived and still do, and am able to tell you this story.  And know this, dear reader, that every word written here is entirely true, to the best of my recollection.  The paramedics rescued me out of booking.  I came away with a bruised and fractured hip.  And to reflect on my fortune--both bad and good, it makes me wonder if I was profiled and how fortunate I was to get away with my life.  Ciao for now.

Check out these articles and more on our sister sites at Real Change and the International Network of Street Newspapers: INSP Vendor Blog: INSP Main Website: Real Change Blog: Real Change Main Website: 



Its people like you ,who care whats going on , that help educate the "real world" whats going on in the "real world". Most are oblivious,but you have opened ,at least ,one pair of eyes.

good work from Bad News Bruce


You are so eloquent with your words, and are able to express the emotions of this traumatic event so clearly. When you spoke to me about the parallels between your experience and John T's, I had no idea this was what you had gone through. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Jenn Pearson


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