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December 14, 2012

Epilogue: Laughing While Being Homeless (L.W.B.H.)

By James Armstrong II

This diary is about how, sometimes, karma is not linear... or maybe it's most times, I dunno. And, discrimination should be met with this sort of karma, I believe.


"These days many politicians are demanding change.  Just like homeless people."

-George Carlin

Again, I love irony.  I see it, all the time.  Maybe because my radar is as such (lately) that I am equipped to see it, I don't know, but I see it, all over the place.  The reasons why are not important as much as is the content I am about to bestow upon you. 

People talk of karma all the time, but do they ever get to see it played out in front of them?  I think I have seen it, just this morning.  And what is great about witnessing it occurring right in front of you is, it didn't happen the way I thought it would if I were to write it up.  That is probably why "truth is stranger than fiction"?  Anyway, so as many of you know by now, by the title, this is going to have something to do with Peet's Coffee, and the manager who openly discriminated against me and my two friends.  For those who have not read that article, shame on you... put this one down, immediately, and go back in my notes and find it.  For those who have read my previous article on this topic, this is a nice little (subtle) twist in people's lives in which they never see.  

So, basically what I am saying here is, karma is not necessary linear.  It is not a straight line.  Some people may already understand this, and if you do, fine... I am not talking to you, and you may proceed in doing whatever it was you were doing at the time you found this article.  For those who do not know what I am talking about, I watched karma get played out in a roundabout fashion.  It hit the person next to the person who committed the injustice.  And, the payment (or annoyance) was equal to mine and my friends', so I am very happy with the end result.

What happened, you are probably wondering?

Again, every morning, I go into Peet's Coffee, and I write and have either a cup of coffee or tea.  And the last time I was there with two friends, we were told we were "being too loud," even though we weren't really... there was an outburst of words, sure, but it was only because my friend has hearing issues, and it was for only three seconds, not hardly a problem worth addressing in such a manor.  If we were three working professionals with suits, we could have gotten away with much louder bantering.  And, of course, the very next day, I noticed as two business-type women in their mid-forties came in and yucked it up, loudly, and nobody gave a crap about that... and, it was much longer than just three seconds, too.  So that lack of enforcement for some, while others get chastised for very little, just based upon what the manager believes is the socioeconomic status (i.e. 'homeless') of that person, is discrimination.

So, this morning, I wake up late and head over to Peet's Coffee.  It's busy as hell.  I hate it when it's like that.  I don't mind people, in small doses, but getting them all at once is a bit... vexing.  Which means what I have been doing for the past two seasons -- panhandling -- is insane, considering my (anti-social) personality "disorder."  Anyway, so I am reading and highlighting stuff out of The Berkeley Voice's "Letters to the Editor" section.  I have to write three more columns, after this one, because of what I read this morning... but I digress, again.  As I am doing my homework, I notice the manger and her partner come in with their two (twins?) children.  The manager in-question goes and gets in line for their beverages.  At least she gets in line and doesn't go in the back and bump all the paying customers, I did notice that about her... as she is not pure evil.  Nevertheless, that just makes it even more galling.  That is why I like to highlight things like this, because it's good people making these mistakes, which is why it keeps being allowed to be perpetrated, because they're "good people."

So, her partner is dealing with the two girls... and that's when the girls get loud.  They're about seven-years-old, the girls, so it's no shocker that they would get a little loud.  Their mother handled it, though, sort of like how me and my two friends handled it, ironically enough... the outburst by both of them was about... that's right, three seconds in length.  I did not care, mind you.  I don't trip on small sh*t like that... because I'm not a b*tch.  But some people (from Walnut Creek) do trip on small, unimportant stuff, and some people have issues other than the ones they are claiming to have problems with at that place and time.  Anyway, so, as the mother handling her business... managing the situation, herself, a man interrupts her and is telling (and motioning with his hands) for the children to "keep your voices down."  Those were his words, I believe.  That's when the mother got indignant and told the man "No!  No!," as to convey a message of "not your business!" 

Yet, I thought it "took a village"?

And there it was... the (negative) karma.  Only, it did not hit the person who it may have been intended... or did it?  Now, that is an assumption on my end, and "assumptions are the mother of all f*ck ups," so... you have to take that into account as I write this, as do I.  Nevertheless, there it was... virtually the same thing happened to this woman's family, only in a different way.  It came in a different vessel, but the end result seemed to be the same -- annoyance and frustration.  So this woman comes at me and my friends, sideways, and her partner gets hit with the shrapnel... sort of like being hit with "friendly fire," or "'collateral' damage"?

Is that a case of indirect karma manifesting itself, or is that just life being acted out?  I don't know.  I just know I know what it looks like.  And I do know that perception and reality never seem to meet at any point in time (which is also an [man-made] illusion), so I may be way off with this article, but that is how it appears.  And since perception rules reality, I guess, for the sake of this article and me and my friends being the projection of someone else's ignorance, fear, and bigotry, it works.

-James Richard Armstrong II

Submitters Bio:

I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).