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Sacramento in the Time of Virus

I’m riding my bike from 22nd and K. Street where I live sort of uptown to 8th and J Street to the UPS store, post office and groceries. My first and foremost observation is this city's homeless disaster. It’s always awful here, but now the plague, the walking dead, humanity, civilization lost, almost empty Covid streets light up the homeless in 3-D. Some sympathy from me all around, certainly. But there's a near dead body splayed out on the post office floor and everywhere you seek to sit a darkness of life appears out of nowhere.

Now appearing as some modern day Les Miz are California, Oregon and Washington and their cities, and our Sacramento — all truly lost to us, our streets an indication.

My solution: call out the National Guard in each state or the military or hundreds and hundreds, thousands more police officers as Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg did to rescue Manhattan and make it livable again.

Anyone without proof of residence and proof of income must be evacuated, sympathetically and humanely removed to each state's industrial or better yet national sized loaves and fishes programs: Sacramento's homeless Peace Garden, given clean housing and care on World War II all-out level: Cut military spending in half, make NASA a private concern, “Mars money for Earth,” get all these mega-billionaires to pitch in $10 billion apiece to start up a new and most necessary government program.

And for anyone who calls me out on my proposal — if and when you have a homeless encampment on your front lawn, speak to me of the "first stone"! Have you seen Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento or any other urban area? Terror walks the streets. Lots of blame to go around — especially for the in-charge Democrats.

But I digress and confess to my total frustration and fear, each found in the sign of a pile of human feces just outside the FedEx shop.

All my friends’ restaurants and shops are closed, shuttered, as human rags of former humans are near dead in their empty doorways, the sumptuous gardens of the Tower Cafe on Broadway now no more, like an abandoned farm, almost tumbleweed.

My nearby coffee shop stays open and my weed shop too, so that's something. It's more than something, the weed, the great stabilizer, even during this. It seems like just yesterday I was smoking my first doobie in a public restaurant, the Cannabis Cafe in Los Angeles, on my yearly Oscar weekend. That was when — puff, this darkness right now. Right now I'm smoking a bowl in McKinley Park on Alhambra Boulevard on a glorious day, separate, but in a community of joggers, duck feeders, dog walkers (I've never seen so many dogs), the geese and ducks with brand-new offspring, totally indifferent to our suffering, the park somewhat of an escape from the homeless scourge.

Now there is a refreshing site, a friend on her yoga mat working out, former bartender at the Public House on 16th and L Street, now without work. I'm starting to think overreaction by the experts, because her job most likely isn't coming back.

So I sit in the park, just to get out of my apartment. I get two government checks a month, so all is good on that account, which doesn't mean I'm not looking for that culture check of $1200 from Uncle Sam.

What a friggin’ mess. And yes, a homeless person just dragged their load of trash up next to my bench. 


  1. Julie May 13, 2020

    What an asshole.

    • Bruce Anderson May 13, 2020


    • Tom Bright May 19, 2020

      Sneaks better past the bluenoses: “azzle.”

      Thank you, R. Crumb.

  2. Joshuaholliday May 13, 2020

    I can’t decide if this is satire or if someone actually wrote this seriously. Obviously English was not their 1st language. While the national guard is at it they should round up anyone that gets 2 government checks amonth. Cuz it’s only a matter of time before you’re on the streets also.

    • Harvey Reading May 13, 2020

      You don’t think retired government employees should get a pension and Social Security, if they paid into both? Sounds like a very conservative, punitive point of view. Typical neoliberal “mind” set. You’ll love Biden even more than Trump.

      • Joshuaholliday May 14, 2020

        I was specifically pointing out the authors boasting of his 2 government checks to survive. I was not making a broader point.

    • Bob May 14, 2020

      The truth is difficult to swallow isn’t it? This is actually the optimum time to address the homeless issue. It’s not just going to “go away” like CV-19. I guess we need to decide if we really are a country of, by and for the people. The homeless are just people who need help. Personally, I think the state needs to donate some land, or a defunct facility, to where they can be relocated to and provided health care and programs to deal with the drug dependence and mental illnesses they have. Perhaps a working farm or manufacturing facility once they are healthy enough to work, with lodging. A chance to turn themselves around, and self-sustaining.

  3. John Burton Gay May 13, 2020

    Well unless he writes under a pseudonym I’ll never read him again

  4. Scott May 13, 2020

    Commenters don’t like raw truth and real reality, do you?

    • Joshuaholliday May 14, 2020

      You want real and raw truth? Come stay on the streets for 2 weeks with me? The harsh reality would leave you traumatized and questioning the principles of our society.

  5. Tom Bright May 13, 2020

    Of the caring-and-sharing laundry list, only “provide for the common defense” is required, and he wants that cut in half?

    Rome lasted several hundred years past the infamous bread-and-circuses cultural dead end. But when various Vandals and Goths at last achieved their ancestral ambitions and entered the Eternal City, there was no longer a There, there. Running water just hit and miss. No garbage pickup. Whole place was Cloaca Maxima. Pardon me, Oakland. Even Berkeley, my home town, is fast devolving out of focus.

  6. Susie de Castro May 14, 2020

    KN95 Masks from China

    ?easy fit over nose and mouth
    ?4 layers
    ?for dust, allergies, pollution and viruses
    ?light weight
    ?protects against “Corona Virus
    ?makes you feel protected

    5 out of 5 (perfect score)

  7. Tom Bright May 19, 2020

    Hollywoodites pay $40k a month for alleged rehab. Claimed success rate is ten percent, although we all know that is wildly overstated. How would rehab run by government agencies perform?

    Besides practically forcing participating therapists to indulge, too, out of the hopelessness of their task … as in, You Drive Me To Drink.

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