Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Ruthie Rose By Any Other Name

                             PHOTO/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

What's acceptable?

I took the above photo of the rose while strolling through Central Park in
downtown Corvallis, Oregon this morning. Now, I am listening to the rocking beat
of Prince and the Revolution while I type this out.

Is that normal?

And what is the line between creative and crazy, anyway?

Who really has the right to dictate what people should and should not do?

Last night, I was sitting on my favorite bench at the Corvallis Transient Center
and Homeless Hang-Out. And then a cop walked up to me.

He started talking about proper protocol and misdemeanors and said that I had to
leave the transit center.

"Nobody can camp here...this isn't a place to sleep" he declared while the radio on
his shoulder squawked like a little tuberculin parrot.

"Really" I replied.

"Yes and so I am going to take you to the shelter" announced the cop, doing his best
to tough me down.

I just rolled my eyes.

"I have been sitting, laying and sleeping on these benches for almost two months and
now you decide that I can't do it anymore?" I asked with a large inflection of challenge
in my voice.

"And you're doing this after the buses have stopped running for the day...at ten o'clock
at night?" I added.

"Well, if you don't go to the shelter then you may go to jail" explained the cop, taking
a step forward.

"Just a minute...this is a set-up...I know what is really happening here...this is bullshit...
I'm going to call my friend" I said. And I did contact her.

She told me to hand her over to the cop. I showed him her number on my phone and he
put his own device up to his ear. My friend and the cop had a short conversation and then
I was asked to stow my belongings in the back seat of his cruiser. I sat in the front seat.

The officer then steered his cop cab over to the shelter.

I am well aware of what is going on behind the scenes.

All I needed was a warmer jacket and to be left alone there for three more nights. Then I
would have vanished. I wasn't hurting anybody. After almost two months, I knew the
ropes and what to do and not do. But this community didn't give me the chance to wind
this up right. Nope.

Corvallis is turning American Ugly...one mistake at a time. Arrogant assholes.

We talked about it at the drop-in center this morning. The City is doing the hard-hitting
homeless stomp all over the place now. They even came after me!

I will stay at the shelter tonight and tomorrow night. Then I will leave this area. My friends
are keeping their eyes on me. And if Corvallis accuses me of crossing a line
we sincerely hope the City trips over the same one and falls flat on its face.

Tread carefully, Corvallis...every rose has thorns. And you're not the garden variety
expert that
you think you are. Not when it comes to some of the people living here.

No matter what you choose to call them.


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