paranoid or on track?
That’s not Russia up above. That’s Oakland California.
I ask people a lot if they are cops. This is probably a weird thing. But it does protect against, or used to, against entrapment. And I have had a weird sort of paranoia going ever since I started the website dogshatebush.com and people started saying, “You know someone is going to kick in your door for that?”
I doubt it. I mean, it is not like dogshatebush.com was getting millions of visitors. But here is how it impacted me.
So many people who sent in a dog sent a letter with the dog photo. Some people sent quotes. Some didn’t send quotes. So I’d make quotes up there. But so many people sent letters. And. It’s not the quotes that got me. It was the letters. All over the states. People telling me what was happening to them. Letters that told me stuff about losing jobs, losing homes, losing husbands, losing children.
When I started dogshatebush.com, it was kind of a joke. A friend was going out to a protest with her dog and I said, Don’t Do It! Her dog was older. I know what kind of hell can go down at a protest. I was just thinking about what would happen if all hell broke loose and a woman with a sixteen year old Golden Retriever was trying to get to safety. So I was saying, Don’t do it! Put up a website! Don’t take the George in there!
Ironically the dog’s name was George. And. That’s how dogshatebush.com was born.
(On another note? Cops usually won’t arrest you if you have a dog with you, because there is so much fucking paper work involved in taking you AND a dog down. But that might be the old days. These days, they might just kill the dog. But that is half why a lot of homeless people have dogs. Well aside from dog love being the best thing on the planet. It’s so much work to deal with animal control on top of dealing with the animal itself and the arrestee during an arrest, cops are way less likely to mess with homeless people who have dogs.]
Back to the subject before regression to dog stuff. There is this weird guy who regularly goes up the path in front of my place. It’s a path lots of people take, along a stream, it’s not all that weird anyone is going up it. Except he always stops in front of my place. Which to me is weird. Or near my place. Again, to me, regular stops within 10 feet of my place is weird. Also he’s 6′ 5′, he smells of cop all over, and he is often yelling into the phone, “You tell the Sergeant….” [Oh yeah that is covert.] Or, at other times, some crap about politics — which is just freaking weird. Who in their right mind would be yelling political agenda into a phone on an open path in the middle of downtown Austin? Most people on my path are walking dogs. Or, late night? Headed home for cars. They are not 6′ 5′ obviously cop or military yelling into phones and hesitating and loitering in front of or near my balcony. So he really stands out.
Then there is the guy who runs in the wrong shoes.
I’m sitting on the balcony having a smoke. People are going by. And this guy shows up on the path. Heads up to my place, passes it by a couple feet, then turns around and heads back. The guy is overweight, but in pretty good shape despite being overweight. He’s got muscle. As in a lot of time at the gym — though not, clearly, running. You can see the gym time in his legs and arms. This is unusual. It means someone eats too much of the wrong stuff but also shows up at the gym ALL the time. He’s in civilian clothes. Too young for him. Like a T-shirt and hoodie and the wrong shorts. So he’s in costume in some way or another. But here’s the big thing. This is brilliant. He’s wearing flat Converse-like sneakers. So a guy who’s probably in his forties is dressed like a college student, he works out a lot so he definitely knows something about working out and probably correct running shoes, though he doesn’t eat like it (yeah, how many hours at the cop gun range again?), and he’s running in flat non-running shoes with no arch supports to pretend he “fits” with the neighborhood. Oh yeah. That fits.
And none of that even takes into consideration the whacko times I was followed home from HEB. WTF?
There is a part of me that says, Wow, what is with you? Are you going schizo paranoid here?
There is another part of me that says, No. You are not schizo. You are paranoid. But maybe with good cause. And maybe that’s going to start looking weird to people you know if you keep asking people if they are CIA. But there is something wrong here. There should not be three people pausing in front of your place who are obviously wrong. And that is not you paranoid. That is you the writer. You notice when things are off. And anyone who messes with a writer is fucking whacked if they think you won’t notice.
On the other hand? When writers do notice stuff like this and talk about it, they are usually assumed crazy until something like 30 years later. So maybe if I don’t want to go that route I should shut up. But, if I don’t? The final question is —
Just how aggressive is the police state these days? Does it only take 100 visits to a website they don’t like to get their attention?