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There was no struggle.

Woke up with an idea, and that hasn't happened in a while. Maybe even a good idea, which is even more rare. 

There's this story I've wanted to write, but the beginning has always been hazy, and the middle made no sense, until this morning. It's the story I gave up on a year and a half ago, and decided to write this pathetic zine instead.

But suddenly, soon as my eyes were open this morning, the good guy had a motivation, I knew what had to happen in the mid-section, and it clicks like a jigsaw with what I'd envisioned as the end. A eureka moment, is what they call this.

Darted out of bed, hurried naked to the typewriter, and started mapping it out. Not sure it'll ever be worth telling, but I spent two hours telling it to myself. For the first time, I can see the whole shape of the story, what I want to do with it, and I've even outlined a few key scenes.

Of course, it has no potential as an article or novel anyone might *buy. Hell, no. Too subversive, too idiosyncratic, too strange, but that's OK. I write to write, not to sell, and mostly I write for an audience of me. I'll keep crunching the plot in my head and on paper, and if I'm ever proud of it I'll share it, but not before.

♦ ♦ ♦

Today on the Ave, I worked between Hey, the woman whose name I can't remember, and Very-Abdul, the Muslim guy who always talks about Islam.

I've never seen Very-Abdul so sociable, though. He flirted with Hey, said a few kind words to me, and laughed out loud when a dog peed on the leg of my table. He barely even talked about Islam, and his smile didn't disappear when I told him we're soon coming out with an Allah fish.

A few stalls up Telegraph was another vendor, some middle-aged man whose name I can't remember, same as Hey. He said "Hi, Doug," came over and talked to me for a while, and after he'd walked away I discreetly asked Hey his name, but she said, "Gee, Doug, I don't remember."

That's when I should've asked Hey her name, but I forgot.

♦ ♦ ♦

On my walk home, I witnessed two more arrests of harmless street people. It must be crackdown time. Nobody in charge ever does anything about all the causes of homelessness, and they never do anything really to help the homeless, but when there get to be too many people on the street there's always another round of crackdowns. 

Two street people, late teens or early 20s, were sitting on the sidewalk, out of everyone's way, not even panhandling. What's the problem with that?

Well, here come two of Berkeley's bastards with badges, who sternly demanded to see their IDs. One man had no license, so a cop read him his rights. The other man showed them his license, but he was borderline drunk and didn't want to take a breathalyzer test, so the other cop read him his rights. Two sets of handcuffs, and into the squad car.

Is it illegal to not have ID on you? And that second guy, "You appear to be drunk," said the cops, but he wasn't drinking and if he was drunk he wasn't very. He was simply sitting there talking to his buddy, until him and his buddy were arrested and hauled away.

And again it made me angry, but I didn't have any ID either, so I said nothing. I only watched, so there'd at least be a witness if the cops got too rough. 

There was no struggle, though. Not even an argument. As ordered, the two men got into the back seat, and the cop car rolled away.

More and more, I think, that'll be the last line when America is over: There was no struggle.

From Pathetic Life #17
Sunday, October 29, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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