Officer Simmons was laid to rest today. There is nothing that I can say that would be better than the article on Kcal.com
Their coverage of the funeral was splendid. it just makes you sit back and reflect.
I thought alot about how people can leave us so quickly in this world. I see it all of the time on Skid Row. I hear about it every day. "So and so was shot. Did you hear about that?"
"Did you hear they found so and so in the garbage, dead".
Earlier today I ran into someone that I met in jail. He was very supportive. He promised me that he would never smoke cocaine again. He could not keep that promise. He was away from it for a year and immediately returned to it. I do not understand it. After being away for so long, why go back?
He told me that it was not he and he had to get himself together. I usually do not say things to people but this man was good to me in jail. He told me about another man that helped me out tremendously. He was found dead, chopped up by a machete.
Apparently, he made someone mad. He promised never to return to that lifestyle as well.
I told my former acquaintance several things and I hope he remembers them.
"Archie, you have a choice here. You choose to live or you choose to live on the streets. You aske me for money because you went back to drugs. You tell me that the man who prayed every night to us, "Black," is selling drugs. He swore that he would never sell drugs again. He said he found the light.
Where is your light Archie? You can not see it when your eyes are closed while you hit the crack pipe. You are on the streets. You do not have to be on the streets. You have a chance to go home. Today I saw a man burried on television today. He did everything the right way and he can not go home to his family. He kept the streets safe so that others can go home to their families.
Last night I talked to a friend of mine. You told me, Archie, that my teeth look good. You told me I look good. It is nothing to be shocked about? I had a good friend that helped me. He did my teeth. His wife is an anchor on televsion news and she reported on the funeral, today, of the officer who can not go home. She does a marvelous job. Yesterday, my friend, who did my teeth, called me up. It was Valentine's Day. I have known this man longer than anyone else on earth. He told me he was proud of me because I was bouncing back. It felt great. However, I told my friend, that I wanted him to do something for me. I wanted him to go home and squeeze out every moment he could, yesterday, to express his deepest feelings to his wife. HIS DEEPEST FEELINGS. I told him, Archie, that unless he sheds some tears, he has not shed his deepest feelings.
I told him that if there was one thing that I learned from this experience, it was that you never can take anything for granted because you never know what can be removed from your life. People can not die and be removed from your life.
When you open that door and leave the sanctuary of your home, you do not know if you will return or if your loved ones will return. Nothing is guaranteed.
I asked him to do that for me because I can not do what I want to do and express my deepest feelings. I learned how to do that with someone who is the most special person in my life and then, Wham, gone.
Archie, you can go home to your mom. You have a family that loves you and needs you. You say you learned alot about yourself, then go home and learn some more. Go home and learn about the beauty of being with those that love you.
Archie, everyday I want to go home and I can not. I told you I would not do drugs. I have not. I have urges to smoke a cigarette from time to time but I refuse to budge on it. I will not do it.
You know these streets out here have nothing. People die. People are killed. People who try to keep these streets safe are killed, like Officer Simmons.
You do him and his sacrifice a dishonor when you consciously put yourself in harm's way so that you can dull your senses.
Archie, go home. Do not tell me what you are going to do. I live on Skid Row. I hear that every day. I will love you either way. Love yourself. Officer Simmons loved you. He loved everyone in the City and he gave his life so you can have a safe one. Go home Archie and squeeze every ounce of joy you can out of every moment.
That is what I told my friend to do for me yesterday. He deserves it. His wife deserves it. She reports everyday so people can enjoy their lives and improve the quality of their lives. Go home Archie and live a life that is absent of the threats that ended the man that we both knew. I do not want to hear about you being shot or stabbed. Go home Archie. Go home while you can. Go home. If you go home Officer Simmons life will not have been given in vain. Everybody needs to go home. "
Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I wish everyone would do something for Officer Simmons. Go home and tell your family how much you love them. Please do that. You need it. They need it. They need you. Be there and express it so they feel it.