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 phidiophile 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.
Streetgirl was out looking for Jeff today, since she hadn’t seen him for weeks and was starting to worry. Whilst walking she took fall photos with her new camera. A gift from a friend and much appreciated! Such a beautiful day, but once again her homeless buddy was not on his spot at The Ramp. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to set off towards his humble abode, a tent tucked deep in The Hills. She feared to find him dead inside. One more of her crew biting the dust in 2020. Hoping not!
Instead she took out her sign, unused for months now, and tried her panhandling skills once again. Money is difficult to come by these days as are blessings from strangers with everyone isolating themselves. Half an hour later and all she’d garnered in her cup was a toonie and a chocolate bar. Then she spotted Kid walking across traffic towards her, hand stretched out for a shake despite the hazardous times.
“No hands man. Just give me a hug,” she says in advance and he did!
“I missed you so much. I gotta tell you something,” Kid says with a smile, “I got Me and Frankie off the heroin. Cold turkey!”
The young man’s bright blue eyes are clear and his skin is clean, no runny nose, deep scratches, or pimples. She is so proud of him. It must have been a hard feat considering the demons he has battled from childhood. Just shows what the spirit can do when the mind puts it to the test.
As the light changed to red Streetgirl turned back to start at the beginning again, coming face to face with a young black guy carrying a back-pack and wearing a bright coloured Simpson’s tee-shirt featuring Bart! She figured he was just cutting past towards the mall, as the few ‘deviant’ pedestrians will do, including her kind who habitually dart across traffic as is the game, narrowly avoiding calamity on a regular basis. Over the years standing, walking, and observing many a different traffic behavior she’ll attest that less than ten percent of the general population in her neighborhood jaywalks, regardless of age, gender, or race, and at least thirty percent will dart across the intersection on the final countdown. However, this is far less than the estimated percentage of drivers who roll through yellow and reds on a daily basis and the number of individuals who do this cell-phone in hand!
The man stopped short, eye to eye, whilst placing his right hand upon his heart, a gesture that was her pal Alex’s characteristic mark, a symbol of sincere blessing that touches her soul so deeply. He kept his distance and wasn’t wearing a mask as they were both outside and she did pull hers down for a moment to smile when he said, “I have no money. But I wanted to wish you all the best in every way. Bless you. I felt your shine from across the street! You are an angel.”
On the first light almost as an afterthought a handsome and much younger man handed Streetgirl a small plastic bag stuffed with weed. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: Weed Day!”
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!”
December 9th,, and I was going to take the Lawrence West Subway to Eglinton West and stop to say hi to Sue who would be panhandling at the Ramp before going home; she recently confided that she could have cancer and that sucks! However, the sidewalk out front of the station was packed and a stressed commuter informed me that southbound trains were not running the two stops to St. Clair West; a growing mass waiting to board shuttle buses blocked the entrance.
Time to take a detour! Went up the street to wait for the 109, short bus route and an easy option, as it stops in front of my building, but often delayed on both ends, particularly where the construction and destruction of the expansion makes for traffic chaos. If it didn’t show up fast I’d walk the way which I normally do. Continue reading “Untold News!”
I’ve been a fan of Front Street since stepping off the overnight VIA Rail departed from Montreal for the first time, summer 1980. I had come to Toronto to perform at the Zanzibar on Young Street, or to visit my eldest brother who lived downtown with several other post-graduate students, can’t recall which. If it was the latter, being hungry after the overnight trip, he likely bought me lunch at St. Lawrence Market. Sitting on a stool eating peameal bacon sandwiches was trendy at the time, as was the exploitation of the female body; an expanding business manifesting from burlesque, striptease and topless go-go girls, to the full blown lucrative phenomenon that was table dancing and I was a key player. One arresting teenage mistake, followed by a jury trial, resulting in a criminal conviction paved the way down that deviant path (but that’s another story). Continue reading “Hogtown – Stepping On The Go!”