Working title: Do squatters help or hurt challenged neighborhoods?, Pt. 2
So, like I was saying in my last post, I thought I would just tell my hangout buddies about another friend who decided to become a squatter, we would laugh about it, then we would go on to talk about something else. What actually happened was just the opposite. My “story” opened up a serious and at times contentious discussion.
My other friends agreed with the squatter.
They applauded the squatter’s resourcefulness. They congratulated him on trying to take over a vacant home. Most surprisingly, they said the owner who had just lost the house to foreclosure should have just minded his business and walked away.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. My knee-jerk reaction was, "I gotta find some NEW FRIENDS!!!" My eyes were wide and my mouth was hanging open. Just before a puddle of drool started to form at my feet I found enough composure to say to them, “What the....? Uhmmmm, respectfully…….YOU GUYS ARE JUST AS BATSHIT CRAZY AS HE IS!!! Are you out of your minds??” Well maybe I didn’t use those exact words but I did convey that sentiment.
I say this with all sincerity because it's always a possibility lurking around corners and haunting my dreams: If, God forbid, I should ever lose a property to foreclosure and I see a johnny-come-lately walk by, whistling, with his hands in his pockets and decide he'll make the place I sweated and bled for, for YEARS, his “home sweet home” with no effort on his part, I'M TELLING. Grammar school-style. “Sitting-in-the-backseat-by-your-brother-on-a-road trip”-style (i.e., "Mommmmmmmmmm, he's doing it again!!!").
I will call my alderman, my county commissioner, the state comptroller or any other government office I need to contact. I will call on Monday. I will call on Tuesday. I will call on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I will even call TWICE on Saturday if the office is open. You can call me a hater, but I don't think I am.
Since these are my friends, however, I decided to briefly suspend disbelief. They have been my friends for years and I know them to be intelligent, kind, compassionate and fair people. Plus, I’m a Libra. While I put very little stock in zodiac signs, I have found that I do possess many of the presumed characteristics of this sign (see points #3, #15, #17, & #18). It’s symbolized by the scales. This brings about the sometimes tiring compulsion for me to see all the different sides to an argument. So I asked my friends to explain their views. And I listened.
More on what they said in my next post.
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