Lest anyone get the idea that LA/Long Beach is homeless-friendly... it's not.
Last night I decided to try fishing on pier 2, as the lady indicated to me yesterday was OK. I rooted through trash cans until I found a piece of chicken I could use as bait, and cast in my line. After some hours, some pickup trucks started driving by, and one of them stopped. A cop in khaki uniform, maybe a game warden of sorts, came checking if I had caught anything and asked me if I knew about size limits. I said no, but that I wasn't going to keep anything that wasn't big. (I didn't say that to me, any fish over 6 inches long is plenty big.) Anyway, he said some fish had a lower limit of 22 inches, and bass was 12 inches. I thanked him for the info and he went on his way, after asking me to open my laptop bag so he could see if I had stored any undersize fish next to my computer.
A half hour or so later, my bait was gone, either by nibbles or just gravity and fatigue of the cooked avian musculature. I went to root through some more trash cans in search of another piece of bread or meat to use as bait; out of nowhere, a cop appeared and started hassling me. Yes, I could stay on the pier, but walking around was illegal and could get me arrested. So I went back to the pier. Over time, it got colder and colder. Moving around did little good; heat was escaping from my exposed head. I fished the emergency blanket out of my pocket and fashioned a hood, held in place by my wool scarf. Time went on, and I also pulled out my other emergency blanket and wrapped it around me. A cop was still sitting parked on the edge of the lot. Twilight started appearing after about 5:15, a jogger and a bicyclist went by without any hassling by the cop; eventually I felt safe enough to beat an exit past the cop, and to the trolley station where I bought a day pass from the machine (finally found one that accepts the new 5's), and caught the trolley to a McDonald's for the 2-for-2 special (really two sausage-and-egg McMuffins for $2.50 plus tax). I was so sleepy, I went all the way into downtown LA and back. I also felt a cold coming on, and now 5:54 PM local time, I'm feeling worse. I'm eating at a place called Pike, which has fresh local halibut and good draft beers (Newcastle, Franziskaner, and Sierra Nevada, among others), and, as I'm seeing more and more lately, a typical LA multi-racial mix of employees and customers. I'm starting to like it here (the regular people) and hate it (the cops) at the same time.
I sold one of my gold coins overnight, and just blew over $20 here. I fear the day when I run out of money, and at the same time I can't wait to find out what I will do. Will I forget my newly rediscovered idealism and go back to work? Or will I find a way to live off the land and sea, and rely on my paltry musical abilities to get me a little cash for these excursions into the Matrix?
In any case, I hope I have the fortitude to resist any guilt trips other people may try to lay on me. I am me, I am free, as David Icke says. Then why do I feel so goddamned lonely and disgusted? There are some complex interactions going on here, to be sure. DNA and memes, and who knows how many other forces at play in shaping the "me" I think I know?
Neil Diamond playing Shiloh on the PA system. The pretty black bartender totaling my bill. Life sucks. Life is good. Till later, dudes.
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last updated 2013-01-10 20:13:51. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com