Monday, January 23, 2006
15b---Journal entry for August 5, 2002
"She's a lesbian but she never has sex with anyone."
The first time she heard that she got upset. It was about 12 at night and she had just gotten done watching the news and was writing in her journal. He went on and on about 'Tinsel this' and 'Tinsel that'. She got up and left slamming the door behind her. A walk in the cool night air would calm her down.
She heard more of this from time to time but she just figured he was an asshole. That was around November-December sometime. Then, in January 2002, everything changed.
Late one night she woke up out of a sound sleep to a loud crash. A lot of hollering. It sounded bad. She stayed up long enough to be sure no one was being murdered and then fell back asleep. The next day she remembered only THAT--nothing specific. She figured someone had a little too much to drink - nothing more.
Two days later, she was also dragged out of dreamland. Oh no, this guys going to make a habit out of this. Everyone could hear it and I wouldn't be surprised if the next sound I heard was a Police siren.
Once again it was the guy downstairs.
He ran from the front of the house to right under my bedroom. More loud crashing around. Then loud as can be -- "She's just like her! Just like her!"
I didn't hear anyone else.
"She's a lesbian. Like her. Just like Tinsel!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.
He sounded upset, fucked up.
"She's just like her upstairs!"
I could imagine him pointing up at me--the bad lesbian lying awake in bed because of his big mouth. I laid there quietly, beginning to feel a surge of anger through the sleepiness.
But I was also afraid. I didn't feel safe anymore.
About a week later--another rude awakening. More crashing and banging in the middle of the night. Then what sounds like 2 or 3 people running into the room below my bedroom.
"...A whole year's rent PAID. I want her out! C'mon this'll work."
All of this said with loud enthusiastic arrogance. Then they ran out of the room. I rolled over to go back to sleep, wondering who he wanted out. Me? No good worrying about it though. We'll know the answer to that one soon enough. But it was impossible to ignore that gut feeling. My spider sense was tingling and I wasn't real optimistic about how this was going to go.
Then I learned something new. Stupidity is contagious. And, in some cases, incurable-even fatal.
Luckily, I had the kind of childhood which is as good as a vaccine against the most intense forms of stupidity. A drink was the only thing that could put me at risk and I had quit over 18 years ago.
But, like I told you before, it's contagious and it was all around me. Stupidity. Some of the people I thought were immune were the first to come down with it.
It starts out very slowly as a form of denial but changes from the innocence of fear-based blindness into the cold, uncaring SEE no evil, hear no evil, inhuman apathy that passes so easily for NORMAL.
How do you start a Hate campaign?
Get one psychopath to do weird sneaky things to someone. Let him tell the surrounding 'good' people that the victim is the perpetrator. And don't ever admit the real reason you hate the victim. Make up all kinds of horrible stories about them. Tell them anything but the truth.
If the people are 'good' they won't understand for a long time the true reason. By then it'll be too late. The harm will have been done because of all the slanderous things said about the victim every one will believe at least one bad thing. After all, where there's smoke there's fire, right?
Oh yes, the one thing that could mess it up would be a hero. A hero would know there's never a good reason to talk badly about someone without them being there to defend themselves. So, to avoid that kind of problem just make any known hero the victim.
There you have it. Now be ready to spend the rest of your life stalking the victim because any one you choose to victimize will be chosen for their victim-like qualities, which actually are not unlike some known heros. Christ, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy all had this quality.
There's a certain vulnerability which is often taken for weakness and yet is bourne of courage. These people just never give up when pushed. They may scream out in pain but they are anything but weak. Just a warning for those infected with the stupidity virus.
Oh yes, keep the true reason or reasons a secret. But, if a hero happens along, don't be surprised if they guess. And, another thing, they will know your real reason because there is always only one reason. You may not know it yourself or agree when you hear it but it'll be true anyhow.
In case you haven't done the necessary self-investigation I'll let you in on it. Sit down. Try to get calm and relaxed. Ready? Here it goes - in one word. JEALOUSY.
The specifics of your particular case will differ, but jealousy is always the motivation. Unless there's an actual motive. But if it's a hate crime then your hate is an irrational one based on a prejudgement against a person who has done no actual harm to you. That means that you have DEMONIZED the person and it's not because of their skin color or their sexual preference, etc.
It's because of how YOU PERSONALLY feel about yourself when you think about that person.
15a---Journal entry for August 5, 2002
When Tinsel first moved into her South Philly apartment she felt a nice vibe immediately. People were friendly. They walked by you and gave you a smile. They looked at you and acknowledged you. She wasn't used to it at all but responded to it immediately.
Sometimes they smiled and said "Hi." Some of these guys around here would even start a conversation with you. They made you feel welcomed in the neighborhood.
The technology was still being used on her somehow and she hadn't figured out how they were able to do this but she figured they wouldn't dare to continue it for long in this neighborhood. She knew the people in this neighborhood would never take part in a crime like this and so they'd have to stop now.
That was how it was before the new guy moved in downstairs.
She remembers the first time she met him. She heard her buzzer and ran down the steps and there was this guy there leaning against the door. She opened it and he almost fell into the foyer.
"Hey, thanks alot buddy." He was all smiles and obviously had had a few too many and forgot his key. He gave her a big hug.
He also took her for another guy. She didn't think twice about that since it wasn't the first time plus sometimes when they thought you were male they treated you better. She didn't know it yet, but this was one of those times.
There was a woman next door--first floor apartment--with a child. She was open and friendly. She had a cat and it's litter and they were outdoors. A lot of little black cats needing a home.
One came up to Tinsels' back window--an adorable black kitten. She began to feed him and he came back around to the front door too. She asked the woman next door if she'd let someone take him--she wanted that. Tinsel told W. and once he saw him he realized he needed a cat.
Tinsels' neighbor was easy to talk to--childlike and happy--and she talked to everyone on the block that was friendly back. Her kid was very happy so they were both kind of light-hearted. That's why when the new guy said she was kind of strange Tinsel backed away from him as if stung.
"She's nice." Tinsel said and gave him a hard look.
He got the message. I'm not into the petty bullshit. That's when I became "IT" again.
Her landlords proceeded to throw her out--kid and all. They were Asian and she said her ex-husband was Asian. I assumed it was a financial thing or perhaps and in-law thing but in either case it seemed cold-hearted to throw out a woman and her child. She was looking into shelters so she really was literally being thrown out into the street.
Those were her neighbors to the north.
She didn't see the pattern yet but now it is so clear. New guy moves in beneath her, a woman and her child are thrown out by her neighbors to the north. So, the nice one leaves while a gossip moves in.
Well there was a tenant on the 3rd floor--a woman--who was friendly and she got married and moved to New York a month after Tinsel moved in. The new woman who moved in the apartment above her seemed friendly in the beginning but the new guy poisoned her in no time.
To the south are totally unfriendly people. They were immigrants and wouldn't even look up when she walked into her apartment. She said "Hello" and they pretended not to hear.
When she first moved in she had some friends over and told them all about her recent Hate Crime. Soon after, she heard some woman with a foreign accent (Russian?) saying something loud about a "lesbian".
A few days later she heard the same thing to the north of her outside. Another female voice, but the accent was oriental, screaming a bunch of stuff with alot of "lesbians" thrown in every minute or so.
This happened a third time but then she heard the guy 2 doors down saying "So what she's a lesbian, so what?" After that she didn't hear another word from those neighbors til practically a year later.
That guy who stopped the chatter was one of the first people she spoke to when she first moved in. He mentioned that people talk but he don't wanna hear it. He was working on his little rowboat. All he really wanted was to take his boat out, alone, and fish in peace.
The girl with the kid used to talk to him alot too. He was a nice guy. So, he apparently was responsible for keeping the neighbors around her from talking about Tinsel right outside her home in the beginning.
Unfortunately, the new guy began to talk. And all the homophobes listened. The guy with the boat was one small voice that was soon drowned out by the choir of hatred.
After awhile he came outside less and less. I guess hatred was becoming impossible to take--he had to run for cover.
She was working alot and unaware that she was surrounded by immigrants who hated her--again.
No one said this was gonna be a sweet story.
So, the neighborhood was changing--and she, as usual, was the last to know.
She was working a lot. She left the house around 9-9:30 in the morning and got home around 10-10:30 at night. Not alot of time or energy left for games. She never did care much for games anyway and she was not exactly what you'd call wealthy so it was just as well. No complaints here.
Too bad the young budding criminal on the first floor had all that free time on his hands. The devil's workshop was open for business downstairs.
14.---Journal entry for August 1, 2002
It's been over 2 years since the Hate Crime and each day her face and body are becoming more and more disfigured. She's angry and needs to return to the crime scene and let the police know they are still stalking her. She's told a couple of people some of the truth and got the kind of reception a person who claimed they'd seen a UFO would get.
So, how do you give a warning? She prayed on it, as much as it was possible to under the present circumstances. She only knew she had to try.
They were all over her but seemed to want her to go ahead. She knew they were hoping she'd make herself look bad to the police now, as that could put her into deeper shit. And that's exactly what it was all about for them. How much can we mess her up inside and out?
She didn't know what she'd say or how she'd say it only that she'd do the best she could and leave it in God's hands.
She took the subway as usual but, instead of the trolley, took the El. The whole way to Millbourne she ran it through her mind, seeing it so that she'd be able to go through with it once she actually got there. She'd already had a few experiences where she'd chickened out because suddenly, in the light of day, she'd only known how strange it all would sound to someone hearing it for the first time.
She thought of those times she'd let someone know and knew immediately how unreal it had to sound to them. But this time was different. She felt that she had a duty to at least try to let the right people know the truth. But how much?
And she also knew she'd have to feel them out the whole time and hit that very slender path between 'what if' and 'this is truly happening.'
And it was going to be in God's hands. She asked and knew she had to try. She had to at least try.
They were allowing her the space to think it over but she knew why. They wanted to know ahead of time so they could come up with a strategy to sabotage her during her attempt. She prepared herself for the bright sunshine, the reality of a room full of officers and herself keeping a strong sense of the reality of this while also hiding it.
She felt that she had to be prepared for the worst. They may think her story is so outrageous that she must be examined further. NOT what she was shooting for at all. She'd have to be creative and still ready for some crappy outcome. She figured if she couldn't at least try she'd never be able to hope for a rescue.
Fortunately the ride to Millbourne wasn't that long. She got there knowing little but feeling determined. She walked off the El at Millbourne after not being there for over a year. It was weird how natural it still felt to her. After living there 7 1/2 years, the only bad feeling was that of missing her old neighborhood.
She didn't have the time to dwell on any of that but allowed the reality that she had been run out of her home to sink in. She had been terrified when she left to go to her relatives. She was angry when she came back to file charges. And now her anger was low. She could actually think. But the thoughts were of all the paintings she did on that very platform. She remembered George, the septa cashier, and her talking. And she recalled all the times she ran by there.
Yes, this was some very unhappy stuff they threw all over her happy home.
She kept the one thought and turned left towards the Police Station.
The way was blocked--something new. A small detour of a block or two. The walk would calm her down. God was pulling for her.
"I need to talk to someone."
"Sure, come back here."
And there were 2 of the officers who were there back then. Thank God. At least I wouldn't have to get some new guys to listen to my story.
"Hi, do you remember me? I used to live here over a year ago."
"Yes. How are you? What can we do for you?"
"I don't know if you remember but I had problems with my neighbors after living here for 7 years. A Hate Crime and I had to leave. They drove me out by terrorizing me so I had to leave. I came around here and had to call you guys in a bunch of times and finally filed criminal charges against them?"
Officer S. looked down and said "Yes, Tinsel, we remember, where were you?"
"Marion Court--47--it was from February til July--stupid stuff--they were playing tapes over and over again."