Hell is not what I left home to see. I went to Welfare Square to get free toilet paper, bananas and ice cream. The woman who helped me at the storehouse knew dizzy when she saw it. I asked her what I looked like. She said I got very red. I think I had 3 dizzy spells in less than 5 minutes. She told me her husband was often dizzy. The Relief Society president and the woman at the Bishop’s Storehouse told me they heard BYU ice cream was really good. I’ll come back to that.
I decided to go home on a different road from the one I went there on. Last time I went on 4 South, I said I would never do it again. Not sure why I rarely listen to my own advice. I was feeling curious. Many homeless services cluster around Pioneer Park. There’s the Road Home, the Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, etc. The street from the 4th Street bridge, past the Rio Grande looks like a bombed out wasteland from hell. I challenged myself to go right up the middle of it for several blocks. I think it’s now my life-long trauma to take to the other side of the veil.
Just like last time, there is no way I would be willing to pause long enough to take a picture. When you hear phrases like wretched humanity or seething mass or sea of despair…..it’s not nearly strong enough to describe reality on those streets. Last time when I crossed that bridge, there were piles of human excrement near each buttress. This time there were fewer piles, but still plenty….and lots of pissing had obviously gone on. One guy was sprawled across the whole sidewalk and he was far gone in a drug stupor. Another man was blocking the sidewalk as he propped himself against the bridge and tried to find a vein.
I could not find a single picture online that depicted the horror and hopelessness I saw. Many people were in groups, flung on the ground atop blankets and under umbrellas. The most wretched of them were lying on the sidewalk. Even hell isn’t a strong enough word. It figures I could smell today. The stench was overpowering thanks to human excrement and rancid grease. It permeated my clothes and hair. It wasn’t always possible to swerve around excrement 😮
I was sooooooooo glad to cross State Street on my way home. I am not a fan of being west of that dividing line. The rest of the way back to my apartment, I thanked God that I do not have substance abuse and addiction issues. Suddenly my downtown apartment building looked like a country club in comparison. A calm oasis. Practically Eden.
I put the toilet paper in the closet, my 4 bananas on the counter, and decided to have some vanilla ice cream with a banana for my lunch. My thanksgiving and gratefulness went down the drain when I saw and tasted that ice cream. It was like the overblown 99 cent ice cream of my youth. Yucky 😦 I thought I must be mistaken. I looked up reviews online. It only talked about the sort of ice cream in a BYU scoop shop. Those pictures showed creamy ice cream….certainly nothing like the gooey foam in front of me. Alas, ice cream must have become like storehouse hot dogs. They used to be better than any hot dogs I could buy. Now they are cheapened bloated tubes of carbs instead of smoked meat.
BYU ice cream ingredients…milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, nonfat dry milk, high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gel, gum, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, salt, artificial and natural flavor, annatto color.
The only ice cream I buy, Trader Joe’s French Vanilla…cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks, natural vanilla flavor, carob bean gum, guar gum.
I know I am supposed to be grateful. I’m not. The church ice cream made my guts hurt. When it’s one of the only things left that I can eat, that’s rough. I will give the rest of what I got to somebody who will be grateful. The same Republicans that make policy choices to build lots of grand performance spaces on the public dime and to lure Facebook here, are the ones voting to create few affordable housing units and not funding voucher programs so people can get into market rate housing in decent neighborhoods. They are the same money-grubbing Republicans that are teaching new little Republican capitalists to make sub-par ice cream and hot dogs for the poor, so they can then use the savings to live in mansions while they thumb their noses at the old, sick, weak, addicted, etc. I’d hate to be them on judgement day!
Here are various quotes from news articles about Utah trying to woo Facebook…..
Utah offered an incentive package that included $185 million in property-tax breaks over 20 years plus another $10 million in sales- and energy-tax breaks and an undisclosed incentive package from the state.
It would cost about $3 million per job,” McAdams said Wednesday
West Jordan, though, went all-in, quickly setting aside a 1,694 Economic Development Area (EDA) on March 31. The rush let the city sneak in under the deadline of a new law requiring the set-aside of 10 percent of the value of the development for affordable housing. “We beat it by about 12 hours,” said West Jordan City Manager Mark Palesh.
A Facebook official reiterated that the affordable housing set-aside, which would carve millions out of the tax break, was not an option.
This is the best all-around article about Facebook in Utah.
Last year, Utah was the lowest! We’re No. 51: Utah last again for per-student spending. So the Republican clowns in government want to subsidize a multinational corporation with our taxes when we can’t even pay enough for decent education with those same tax dollars??? Government robbing from individuals to increase the profits of a company valued at $350 billion dollars in April this year!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!
Yes, this must be my day to be pissed off after driving through pools of piss among the homeless! I don’t even know what to do with all this anger! It’s so not fair that huge swaths of humanity are treated with less respect than livestock. I doubt the homeless are tasty.
I got home before temperatures rose into the 90’s. I am very grateful to be sitting in front of my nice fan 🙂 The weather forecast is all downhill. 90’s today, with highs in the 50’s by Friday. Sounds good to me 🙂
To be fair….the LDS church considers the Bishop’s Storehouse food to be something to tide people over in an emergency. It’s just that $98/month SNAP from the government to spend on food…feels like an emergency every month. I am disappointed that the quality of food furnished is not what it once was. I liked those smoked franks. I’d probably like BYU scoop shop ice cream better than what I got today. As a perennially poor person, I’m tired of getting the stuff not good enough for those with more buying power. Yup…tired of lots of things to do with social justice and inequality. It always boils down to beggars can’t be choosers. Sigh….I hope we are all more equal in eternity. It is said that God is no respecter of persons….which means we all have an equal chance. That would be nice 🙂
While I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself and every other person who finds financial life challenging, my phone rang. I recognized the delivery guy’s voice, with his accent from who knows where. I like him 🙂 He put a Dirt Devil vacuum on my walker. I want to thank whoever sent that 🙂 I have been greatly blessed to be surrounded by people who care about me. Thank you.
Today has been interesting. I woke up with minimal snot. After a few hours of blowing my nose….I could breathe and smell things. I don’t know what the secret to that is….but I hope it keeps happening. I’ve been through several other bouts of allergic snot and sneezing today, but there are actually times it goes away!!!! After weeks of this, a few hours of clear sinuses seems like an absolute miracle! I’ve been averaging a box or more of Kleenexes a day 😮
You know what else is weird, but fantastic? My blood sugar has been easily controlled all day! I suspect it’s related to my allergies being less intense. So far my #’s are 78, 108, 135 and 96. Best control day yet on the insulin pump 🙂 I have to put a new insulin reservoir in my pump sometime tonight. Here’s hoping my eyes work. I wish my double vision and blurry eyes would take a hike along with the snot! 😛
While I was checking the insulin pump’s tubing, I set my hernia on the pillow. Then I realized I should take pics of it. I’m leaning back. I shudder to think how huge the hernia would look if I sat up straight and then put it on the pillow 😮
Every evening, birds fly in from all over the city and gather in flocks in the trees by the road. Then on some signal, they all fly to the poplar trees against the building. They must be packed in there tight. Olive is endlessly fascinated by the flight in every night and the take-off in the morning. They chatter and chirp amongst themselves for an hour or so……..then silence. The secret life of birds!
I have not heard back from the home health and hospice people. I was looking forward to getting help with laundry. Maybe some day will come along when I have enough strength to do it myself? I am still very, very weak and have crazy blood pressure fluctuations. I come within a couple of seconds of fainting a bunch of times a day. It would really hurt to crash to the floor. Ouch.