Something is on my mine today. I would rather talk about people smiling and playing in the park. It was a festive day in Skid Row today. I will talk about that tomorrow.
I am going to talk about what is on my mind. Some things I repress I have repressed since late last summer when my world came to and end. Only recently have I started to talk with some people about the things that hurt so much.
Someone said I came off as an opportunist. Interesting that I wrote about Skid Row being a great opportunity. I want to say this. I am not a reporter who comes down to Skid Row and interviews someone and really does not know what to ask except the obvious questions. More on that later. I said that because someone who intimately deals with Skid Row, asked me a very penetrating question yesterday. He could only have done that after being down here and seeing the pain and suffering that came from past behavior and decisions, in alot of cases. Even with that, we must talk about the choice versus neuro physiological changes that affect choice. But I can not talk about that. I can only talk about what I know. but that is a consideration.
If anything, I were to come across a reporter and film maker, I would ask them WHY ARE YOU DONE HERE?
What are you trying to find out? There are many Skid Rows in this country? In fact, I would ask a reporter or filmmaker if they knew the origin of the term Skid Row. If they do not, then they have not done one bit of research on anything. The answer is easy to find out. By the way, the first official Skid Row was considered
to be Seattle, Washington.
Opportunist. I see an opportunity to bring clarity and understanding to something. I did not elect to be here.
However, I am here. While I am here I want to be a part of the solution not a part of the problem.
If I did drugs, I would be a part of the problem. When I first started blogging, I was so elated. I started blogging years ago. I blogged to myself. I wrote a journal long hand or on my computer as I examined every part of myself when I was making a conscious sustained and systematic effort to stop using drugs. Everything I felt, every change in mood, every physical change, I jotted down. I examined myself like a parent examines the development of his child. Indeed, I was beginning to develop as I decreased the usage of destructive elements.
II blogged to myself in jail to keep sane. To vent. To see my thoughts. I wrote about everything I could.
I was paid to write love letters for inmates. (a couple were married as a result). People read my writing and gave me paper in the middle of the night so I could write. "Keep writing Melton, you have a lot to say."
"Keep writing Melton. No one speaks for us. Keep writing and tell what you see. It can help".
I do not know if it is true. I know this much. All of my life I spoke my mind. I was fearlessly confident in the quality of my critical analysis of issues. I had been alot of places, seen alot of things. Did a few things.
The only time I was not fearless was in the plea I gave. A plea based on no experience and on betrayal and naivete. It was a plea based on ignorance. I am paying for it.
I will call it as I see it. Many people have told me throughout my life, even as a teenager that I get into trouble because I do call it as I see it. This is how I see it, TODAY.
Skid Row is an industry. It is not a geographic area. It is not a state of condition. Sure, those things exist.
However, it is a big pie and there are lots of pieces to it and everyone is fighting for those pieces. The bottom of the food chain is the street sleeping, homeless person. He is fighting for some space where rats can crawl over him and bite him as he sleeps. That is the best that person could see themselves achieving.
Millions of government transfer payments come into Skid Row each month in the form of SSI and GR payments. Within days, the real estate coffers are filled. The Food companies coffers are filled. The companies that provide the sheets and towels are paid. Everything.
It is an industry with competing forces. How can anyone agree on anything. A major player in the area
or industry is the health care industry. How can Skid Row get straighten out if it has to count on it. It is the most screwed up sector of the american economy and has been so for years.
Skid Row has its on lobby industry just like Washington has its lobbists. (spelling)
I am not trying , nor do I have an interest in capitalizing on anyonne's problems. I will leave that to the drug dealers. I will leave that to companies that claim that have the interests of the people who are here but really do not give a dam about them and do not have to give a dam about them because there is no accountability.
There is no information clearing house in Skid Row. If someone wanted to make money. They should make money charging for information. Information arbitrage would be huge business on skid row.
I watched a woman walk in and out of five places before she was directed to the right place. It was not that she did not have the right physical place. She had the correct physical place. They all had the wrong information. Being a Skid Row broker would be immensely profitable.
The reporters that come to Skid Row do not see but a portion of the population that comesto Skid Row.
They only see those that are on the street. Behind those walls, in those hundreds of windows are people that feel the pain and have dreams as well. They have experienced various sides of Skid Row. They can provide
a Kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Nobody ever talks to them. Sure, I saw an article that Steve Lopez did. It was a long article. I saw it because the person about whom he wrote and whose picture was in the article slept not far from me and he showed me. He left and now he is back at that shelter.
If you spend anytime on Skid Row you know one thing. You never see any laundry mats. WHY THE HELL IS THAT. I thought the one on San Pedro was a public laundry mat. I was told it was only for Lamp residents unless you do not get caught using it. I do not know if it is true. The fact remains, I do not see any.
I do know that the company that operates my building provides washers and dryers. In fact, I was surprised that they had washers and dryers on every floor. Whoaaaaaaa.
If everyone is so concerned about health and cleanliness, Why not have a laundrymat for those that need them? I do not have the answers. I said I was going to have questions. I do not know a thing about Skid Row
and I LIVE HERE. I am practicing my writing skills. I am practicing my reporting skills. Why, I do not know.
I am learning something and it feels good.
I am writing to keep sane but I am also creating a voice. Technology can separate people. I am using the internet to attempt to bring people together through the accurate distribution of information.
Just like Jan Perry said to me. People are being used as political fodder. The more you look around and the more you see, the more you realize how true it is. How SICK it is. The funny thing about it is the people who care the most and can help the most are being made political scapegoats for a problem that was here before they arrived, and if they decide to leave, will be here long after they leave.
I write because I live here and I report what I see and what I experience. I do not know the political game nor do I want to be a part of that. I am interested in the lives and stories of people. I want to report the lives of people and people to read about those lives and maybe we will become more sensitive and stop the increase of desensitizing that is happening in the world.
I do not care what anyone has to say about me. I care about the truth. As a reporter said who I admired.
I want to report the truth and make a difference. I am here, so I can do that. Hopefully, I can build credibility. I am here. I might as well learn something and do something.
I feel better.
Good night world. I love you. My time runs out in twenty seconds.