Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
You’re gonna go I know
The fabled Ventura Highway is all that separates my artist loft from the beach where surfing first came to the United States. Both my balcony and front patio face the freeway at about eye level and I could easily smack a tennis ball right on to the ever busy 101. Access to the beach and boardwalk is very important to a Tourist Town such as mine and I can see one underpass from my balcony and another underpass from the patio. Further up the street are two pedestrian bridges. Both have been recently remodeled so that people can not use it to kill themselves by leaping down into traffic. The traffic, just like the spice, must flow and the elites that live here do not like to be inconvenienced as they dart about between Malibu and Santa Barbara.
Another feature of living where I live would have to be the homeless, the insane and the drug addicts that wander this particular neighborhood. The authorities estimate that there are more than 1100 homeless in and around my part of town but unless you too live in such a neighborhood, it can be hard to imagine so I’ll do my best to explain. Please humor me while I tell you what that looks like from ground zero.
As I wait for my morning coffee to brew, I can see the more industrious homeless pushing or pulling their junk carts from under the overpass where they spent the night. During the day, these guys will scoop up anything of value that is not nailed down. Others that I can see have their signs and will go panhandle where the tourists must exit the freeway.
Once my coffee is brewed, my cat and I go hang out on the patio where I may or may not have to chase someone away that is stealing electricity as for some crazy reason all the homeless have smart phones and other electric gadgets but few means to charge them. From my patio on the 2nd floor landing, I can look down into the central courtyard and, if early enough in the day, sometimes see people crawling out of the bushes so as to relieve themselves against a wall.
Making this problem worse is the fact that I live around a bunch of retired hippies and there is no one on Earth less capable of doing anything than a hippie. One thing that many of them have not figured out is that they should lock down their WiFi. Frankly, the quickest way to attract the kind of person that would steal a cat toy, potted plant, bicycle or everything out of your car is to have a neighbor or two broadcasting free WiFi. It is like offering Zombies brain pudding. It makes everything worse.
As for me, I work from home and try to spend as much time as possible during the day outside. After all, it is the reason I live here as it rarely rains, we have no insects to speak of and it is pretty much 72 degrees each and every day of the year. Living here and not going to the beach every day would simply be a crime but going to the beach puts me face to face with some people that should, by all accounts, be in an asylum.
The asylum crowd is easy to spot as they tend to wear everything they own even when it is warm outside. Another sign is how filthy they are. Now, you might be saying that of course they are filthy because they are homeless but that shouldn’t be the case as there are quite a few charities that gives clothes to the homeless or allows them to use a laundromat for free. I have a neighbor that plays guitar to entertain the homeless the first Tuesday of every month at a laundromat that serves the homeless and does so for free. Also, there are free public showers all up and down the beach.
Perhaps this anecdote will help put things in perspective: My daughter is out walking by herself but it is only 8 in the evening so she isn’t all that worried about late night criminal elements. She told me that she heard a noise and looked to see a bearded filthy barefoot half starved shirtless man running towards her from out of an alley. My daughter runs marathons and was able to easily outrun this man but she told me that the worse part was that the guy had both of his arms cut off at the elbows.
Luckily for her she had spent 5 years living in a tiny former hotel room right on Sunset and Vine in the center of Hollywood which is the capital of crazy in the United States. Living and working in the center of Hollywood with no car put her right out with the crazies and made her streetwise and an expert on crazy. Frankly, any normal person not used to such things might have froze like a deer in the headlights seeing an armless lunatic howling their way towards them but my girl is a pro. Anyway, the question that both my daughter and I had was why the authorities did not sweep this guy up off of the street. Clearly he was armless, hungry and out of his mind.
Let us talk about the authorities for a moment. What exactly are they doing to help? First, they threw open the borders and created sanctuary cities so that people that do not belong here can not be molested by law enforcement. Next, they decriminalized camping in public. People camping in public need something to do to while away the hours so they decriminalized drugs even going so far as to give away free needles. If that were not enough, they decriminalized theft up to $950 per day. This way any homeless person can walk into any business and brazenly steal whatever they wish without any fear of being sent to jail.
Finally, they’ve arranged things such that the police will no longer respond to 911 calls pertaining to vandalism or burglary. You can watch from your bedroom window as a homeless person smashes your car windshield with a rock so as to ransack your car and if you call 911 it will be YOU that is in trouble for tying up their emergency line as someone vandalizing and robbing your car is a non-emergency and not worthy of any kind of response. Isn’t that wonderful?
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
‘Relax’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!’
Having lived in such insanity for 11 years has me wondering if I can ever really leave California behind. Has it changed me?
After all, the people around me that I’ve spent time with honestly believe in UBI, that men can have babies, trans athletes, open borders, free everything, Communism, drag queen library time and that the Earth will be destroyed in 12 years because AOC says so. I’ve watched grown adults dress themselves and their children up as vaginas and parade around in our streets. The worst was being told that I was a “racist” for believing that anyone of any race can achieve their goals if they work hard. After all, “only a privileged white racist” could express something so outrageous.
I’m afraid that the one thing I will be carrying with me out of California is a numbness to human suffering. I am very worried that I will not be able to leave that numbness behind but only time will tell. I do understand that the numbness is a defense mechanism that helps me deal with the reality of Southern California.
After all, you have to be numb to watch a 70+ year old woman that looks like your grandma defecating by the recycling bin.
You have to be numb in order to casually step over someone passed out on the sidewalk.
You have to be numb to walk past the once attractive woman that is now toothless and having a loud argument with a tree.
You have to be numb to pop on Netflix while knowing that just a few hundred yards away is a homeless encampment in the dry river bottom that has hundreds of men and women sleeping in the tangles near the salt marsh.
I have become comfortably numb.
I didn’t before but I now 100% understand what that means.
In a few short days I will take the Ventura Highway out of town and out of California. On a positive note, my $3200 a month artist loft (parking and utilities not included) is now available to rent. What a deal, huh?
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