Recently, I viewed a U-Tube video depicting two police officers brutally arresting a senior, shoving and plummeting the struggling man to the ground before dragging him up a set of concrete steps. Within thirty seconds of watching I told the person who was showing me these disturbing images to turn them off; angry and convinced that this was an atrocity which I couldn’t continue watching. It was then that I was told the other side to the story. Apparently, the cowering suspect was a convicted pedophile who had committed heinous acts, skipped his court appearance, ran from the police, and was to be brought in to face charges.
That same day I watched a video of a ‘porch pirate’ boldly stealing a package from someone’s front door. He was caught when an eagle-eyed neighbor took down the man’s license plate and called the police. As far as I could tell he was guilty of theft, but it brought to mind an incident closer to home. I’d been waiting for a delivery from Amazon a while back and since I wasn’t going to be home had asked my buddy to watch out for it; as I live in housing where opportunist criminals are a part of the social network and the contents were quite valuable. That afternoon he saw a box outside the door across from me and so walked over to bend down and glance at the address in case it was my order delivered to the wrong unit. It wasn’t, but given that my friend is a young black man I imagine had someone witnessed and perhaps videotaped his actions you and I might be viewing and perceiving the situation differently.
Point being, be skeptical and aware of the possible parallel truths behind the content of what you watch and what you believe on social media.
Things didn’t go as planned on Saturday November 14th, the day after my father’s birthday. I miss him so and the candle was bright that night!
I could hear the young man shouting, “HELP, HELP, HELP,” from inside his apartment at the end of the hall despite the fact that there are numerous paramedics and police officers at his door and other’s standing under the resident’s balcony in case he attempts suicide. Wouldn’t be a nice thing to see if he dares. Brought back memories of 2 years ago when a distraught woman who I knew personally and living above me decided to block her apartment entrance with a heavy dresser and jump from her balcony ending her life in plain view on the bloodied concrete below. Never will I forget that sight and I can only hope she is in more peace than those who bore witness to the incident!
Back to Saturday afternoon in TCHC. Apparently he was taunting, screaming and throwing knifes out the window. Threatening to shoot if anyone tried to enter, which is why the cops knocked upon Cathy’s door (she lives across from this man) and told her to take the dog and get out of her apartment for her “own safety”. I peeked my head out and was instructed to stay inside! When I heard the swat team arrive it was the last straw and decided to cancel an impending visit with my amazing 7 year old granddaughter. My anxiety was at a high level and since the last incident involving this person and the police lasted hours and hours I felt it was for the best.
All resources were at hand and eventually after barricading inside for 3 hours the situation was diffused and the patient carried off in a stretcher, calm as could be with cigarette in hand. I recall meeting his parents when they helped to move him in 5 months ago and they seemed so thrilled he’d found a sanctuary. My heart goes out to all involved. After the fact, in need of fresh air and better vibes, out the side door I went running into 3 more cops who were rather sarcastic when I told them in passing that this whole thing had screwed up my family visit.
Afterthought – When it was mentioned to me later that this kid was white and therefore privileged and deserved more than a free ride to the hospital after all the trouble caused, I agreed. In hand cuffs at the very least! Had he been black the outcome may have been different. Very possible! It is what it is!
It is 3:20 a.m. and I smelt the smoke before hearing the alarm and once again Toronto Fire Services is on the premises and “currently fighting a fire in the 1st floor compact room.” So, we must “remain” in our units as we are until further notice as “light smoke” filtering up and into the hallways is cleared and the flames in the bin are extinquished. My eyes are burning!
Pyromania is an impulse control disorder in which an individual repeatedly fails to resist the desire to deliberately start fires, in order to relieve tension and gain instant gratification. Setting fires induces euphoria in a pyromaniac who may tend to fixate on institutions of fire control like fire houses and firefighters.
January 2020 -The siren rang while I was sleeping; admittedly, I recently taped over the alarm inside my door to tame down the tone which was deafening, but I still hear it. We residents have become resistant when it comes to the threat; there have been many false alerts these past few years. However, when I heard over the intercom firefighters were battling a blaze on an 8th floor balcony and that we should all stay in place until further notice, I was concerned. That’s my floor! Certainly it is the work of the man who lives upstairs somewhere above my friend’s apartment at the end of the hall! Continue reading “Fire on the Balcony!”
Yesterday, I thought of Delores who lives on the 18th floor and decided to wrap her a Christmas present because I was sure she had not received a one! Continue reading “Re-gifting!”
“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor,” Proverbs 22.9
Many thanks to the nice guy who passed Streetgirl a huge container packed with delicious homemade cabbage rolls yesterday afternoon. Not quite enough to feed an army, but plenty for sharing with three hungry neighbors!
Seeking solace and a blessed place to say her prayers, Streetgirl flew her sign yesterday, straddling the curb and strolling up and down the island. Those same paths that her panning peer, so-tagged The Veteran, had ambled thousands of times. It was chilly, but they’d been out in far worse weather and enjoyed it too; a freedom of sorts. If it was Joe he would be wearing a toque, thin shirt under a jacket year-round day and night and sandals without socks.
Someone had given him a pair of boots two months before his passing. Thrilled to tell the tale of how he’d been snoozing in the sun behind the gas station when a guy came by and offered to take him to Canadian Tire to buy a winter coat and footwear. One of many kind gestures afforded him by strangers. That night they dumped his dirty smelly old one down the garbage shoot in her building as a ceremonial gesture and he donned the gift until the day he died. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: Farewell Friend”
“Cause you’re the joke of the neighborhood…Why should you care if you’re feeling good…Take the long way home,” SUPERTRAMP. (1ST concert Mother went to in the summer of 1979, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa.)
I feel sort of sorry for some People. Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Take the Long Way Home!”
Thought they were not going to, but finally my small sunflowers are opening!
“Oh well! I was at home sleeping in my bed,” said the TCHC Special Constable who has been assigned part-time to monitor and protect our building, tenants and property, due to a recent upsurge in gun and gang activity city-wide which has prompted media coverage, political posturing, and a demand for solutions to the problem which appears to be radiating from community housing corridors. Continue reading “TCHC: Quote of week”