Thursday, December 12, 2013

Doing the right thing

I received some mail recently from DeKalb County, Georgia. This piece of mail indicates that if I don't send DeKalb County $369 by December 17, for an alleged infraction of the law, they're going to have my Ohio driver's license suspended.

Would you like to know what heinous crime I committed in Georgia several years ago? Unfortunately, I really can't tell you, because the citation I was given was written by someone who obviously doesn't know the meanings of the words she used to describe my alleged violation, nor the meanings of the words she was supposed to have used to describe my alleged violation.

Here's what happened: While I sat on a guardrail, minding my own business and not interacting with anyone, a cop stopped and harassed me, then cited me for "Solicitation in Right Away," which I could not possibly have been doing, considering the cop's description of my alleged violation is complete gibberish.

If a cop or anyone else doesn't know the proper terminology to describe a law, that person cannot possibly know what that particular law means. If that person doesn't know what the law means, and he or she proves it by using horribly wrong terminology to describe the law on an official legal document, that person is not competent to enforce such a law. The cop who wrote my citation proved that she is incompetent simply by writing the citation, yet I'm still expected to pay a fine for breaking a law that she made up.

The only reason I was given a citation that day is because this cop profiled me and instantly deemed me less than worthy of being treated like a human, just because I had a large backpack. This cop played judge and jury when she decided she had the authority to manufacture an infraction of the law that I never committed.

I haven't done any research, but I bet that's against the law.

Still, let's just pretend for a minute that I had been cited in DeKalb County for something the cop legitimately thought was an actual violation of the law. If you're reading this, you probably already know I've never kept it a secret that I have solicited many times when I've been on the road, in many places.

Was I soliciting when I took the picture of myself in Hollywood, holding a sign that said, "PLEASE HELP A HUNGRY TRAVELER. THANK YOU"? You bet I was. And I could have been cited for it. But I wasn't cited for it, for many reasons, including the fact that almost every cop alive is above that.

Was I soliciting when I sat on a guardrail in DeKalb County, Georgia? Nope. I've never solicited in DeKalb County, Georgia, or anywhere else in Georgia.

So why is DeKalb County, Georgia planning to have my Ohio driver's license suspended? Why is DeKalb County, Georgia extorting me? Why is DeKalb County, Georgia terrorizing me?

I have enough BS to deal with already. Here's something I've never shared on this blog: I have multiple sclerosis. I am in constant misery that's never going to end. My left leg does almost nothing, and my right leg isn't much better. My left optic nerve is screwed up, too, so my eyes don't work together and I pretty much always have a headache or nausea from it. Although I didn't know it at the time, MS is why I had so much trouble walking when I was in New England a couple years ago.

I can barely walk now. I always use a cane, and I had to use a wheelchair when I went to Ikea with my mom a couple months ago. Someday I'm probably gonna have to use a wheelchair all the time. I drop things all the time because I've lost so much feeling in my hands. That's pretty stressful, and the stress only makes the MS worse. So as you may have guessed, the stress of being victimized and extorted by people who are paid to protect me also makes things worse.

I'm not going to pay this bogus ticket. I don't even have the money to pay it. If anyone reading this knows how I can fight back against the terrorist county of DeKalb County, Georgia, I'd appreciate your help. Or if you know someone who may be able to help me, I'd appreciate if you'd share my story with them.

I may have seemed like a dick to a lot of the people who have read this blog over the years, but unlike the DeKalb County, Georgia police, I don't fuck with people. And if I did have it in me to do something like this to someone, I would quickly realize I've done wrong, and I would do everything I could to undo it, because that's the right thing to do.

Someday I'm gonna get a similar piece of mail from San Bernardino County, California, too, and it will cause me even more stress.

Here comes the good part of this post. It's a story I've never shared on this blog (because I'm not the kind of person who attempts to draw positive attention to himself for doing the right thing; for doing what almost no one else would have done if they were presented with the same circumstances).

When I was walking into Providence, Rhode Island in the fall of 2011, I noticed a money clip in the grass several feet off Albion Road, just east of George Washington Highway. Seeing right away that there was a driver's license in the money clip, I decided I would send it to the address on the driver's license whenever I got a chance. However, as I bent down to pick it up, I saw that there was some cash on the ground. So I picked up the $65 and instantly decided I had to walk to the address on the license and return the money clip AND THE MONEY to its rightful owner.

So I walked at least a few miles out of my way, to 86 Darling Street in Central Falls, Rhode Island. There was no answer when I knocked on the third-floor door, so I left a note on the door or in the mailbox, with my name and phone number, telling Mr. Gomes that I had found something he had lost, and that he should respond ASAP because I was on foot, walking away from his home. An hour or so later I received a call from Mr. Gomes. I told him I would meet him at the McDonald's across the street from my present location.

After Mr. Gomes arrived on his motorcycle to meet me, I could tell that he was very stressed out over this. When he found me inside the small McDonald's, I quickly gave him the money clip, including everything that was in it when I found it. Once I was sure he was the person on the driver's license (only a few seconds later), I also gave him the $65, which was more money than I had in my life savings. Because there were a lot of little pieces of paper in the area where I found the money clip, which I assume came out of the money clip, I opened my phone's map application and showed Mr. Gomes exactly where I found the money clip.

Before leaving, Mr. Gomes gave me $20 from the wad I had returned to him, as a reward. He didn't have to give me any money, and it would not have upset me if he had chosen not to give me anything. Having the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing was reward enough. And I'm not saying that just to make myself sound like a good, moral, honest person. That's truly how I've always felt about it. That's why I never said anything about this publicly in the 2+ years since it happened.

A couple hours later, as I walked south on the sidewalk of the main road between Providence and Pawtucket, with my earbuds in, I heard a commotion on the road, maybe 50 feet from me. When I looked over, I saw that it was Mr. Gomes on his motorcycle, trying to get my attention as he was stopped at a red light on the other side of the street. I turned off my music and talked to him while he was stopped. He was much more relaxed this time, obviously relieved that he had been saved from the trouble of canceling all his credit cards and whatnot. When the light turned green, he motored off, and that's the last time I ever saw him.

Now here's part of a story I did share here on the blog: Three days after returning the money and money clip to Mr. Gomes, as I walked into Westerly, Rhode Island, I was taken into police custody and put in jail for 16 nights, again after breaking no laws; just walking down the road carrying a large backpack.

My Rhode Island jail story has a little different context now, don't ya think?

Despite what you may have always thought of me, I do the right thing whenever I can. Why is it so impossible for people who are paid to do the right thing to do the right thing?