Saturday, October 3, 2009
San Rafael and the Oakland Court story
The other day i was referring to San Rafael, not San Leandro.
the other day, I told a vagabond that had had his dog taken by the police based on what I believed to be a misunderstanding, that I would help him get his dog back. I had promised to do this 2 weeks earlier as well. I woke up very early and got to the train station at 7:30 AM, after about a 35 minute walk. My friend, who is generally coherent, had always treated his dog well, and it was friendly, well fed and loving to his master at all times. He arrived at about 7:40, telling me he had had to get some medicine.
Although he had expected six different people to show up, only me and another woman, who I recognized as a person who was "there" when things are going bad for the destitute of spirit (and sometimes mind). She had her own problems to deal with that day, but was taking some time to help this genleman, who I call "the Rev," because he sometimes babbles about the bible and has introduced himself as the "the Reverend ____ _____," using his real name, which I won't be publishing.
So, she gives the Rev a 20 to buy a breakfast, takes his papers and says she has to take a bus and "she'll be right back." It is 8:30. At 9:25, at my instigation, we finally leave, realizing she is not coming back with the papers we gave her to copy. We had told her that we needed to meet someone at 10:00 at the Ashby station, so, we took off. Luckily, she was there, and so was the other person, the owner of a local nightclub, who had a note also guaranteeing the Rev's ability to take care of his dog.
We go to the Oakland courtroom where the Rev has to address charges of animal cruelty, in the opinion of all of his friends unfounded, about some nonsense about him "forcing the dog to drag a cart," which is utter tripe.
Unfortunately, the Rev has a "bullet" in his lung, from some former shooting incident 2o years earlier, and he starts wincing in pain, muttering about the "transmission waves" coming from the top of the building. We sit in the pews for about 2 hours. He practically keels over in the court, and, when finally ready to deal with the judge, is limping along, moaning in pain, and talks incoherently to the judge. "receipt, paper, dog," he says with no connecting language. The judge, a grey haired woman with a sense of humor yet at the same time a surly and "no poppycock" personality, immediately tells the Rev to sit down in the jury box.
After another few minutes, we are escorted outside, where in the corridor, the Rev is informed through his anxiety hyperbole that he has to get finger-printed before any other action can take place. You can see the wincing nature of the DA informing him of these facts in his face. He is trying to be nice to the crazy, incoherent man.
As soon as we get outside, the Rev becomes totally coherent again, and, when we suggest he go into the police station and get his fingers printed, he says, "i will do it on Monday, right now, my stomach hurts too much." We are both at this point exasperated, and finally, I throw up my hands and take off.
The Rev is totally coherent, the courtroom actions in no way reflect on his capability as a person who can take reasonable care of himself and very good care of his dog, and the level of fear that he had that caused him to react in this anxious way is solely due to the harsh nature of the building and the charges leveled against him. On the other hand, I have only so much time to give to folks that won't help themselves, and i'd say it's more than most.
Later, the Rev bought me a lemonade and thanked me for showing up and showing the DA that others besides himself respected his ability to take care of himself and the dog. So, I hope I helped.