Home Sweet Home?
A few years ago, I decided to take a ride some 200 miles to the town where I grew up. They say you can't go home and they are very right. The place where I grew up is gone, the causes, economic stagnation and the war on drugs.
The town I left behind had a dozen bars, several restaurants and colorful night life. The main employer was a hospital for the mentally inept and societies other misfits. Sure people smoked marijuana, in the alleys and out back of the seedier bars. Teenagers took the the back roads to chug six packs and to go parking.
Now the "hospital" is a correctional facility compound surrounded by 20 foot tall fences, adorned with razor wire. Across the street another larger full security facility. Biggest employer the prison.
I arrived in town 7pm expecting to see a bustling small town Saturday night out. Downtown has only three shops open. Two pizzeria's and a bar. The streets are empty, plenty of parking. Mcdonald's at the edge of town is the only other place to eat. I found some old friends, they tell me most everybody has left or gone to jail. However the towns population is way up, double if you count the prison inmates. The replacement community is prison guards and their families as well as the dangerous relatives of those city people that they got locked up out side of town.
I stopped to see the site of my first protest
I stopped to visit an old friend who used to deal weed to get his prospective on the new world order. I hadn't seen him in several years, but acted like he was expecting me. I asked him how he knew I was about? He said the police had already run my license plates, he pointed to a scanner on the end table. We caught up on the past and shared some herbs. While we sat there I listened to the scanner, the local police just calling up license plate numbers at the rate of at least one a minute. From my friends house I could see the main street and I could tell that the police where sitting there calling up at least 80% of the cars the passed through. However none were being pulled over, just a record of who is passing through town. A car passed by with a head light out, the cop called in an out of state plate number and headed out after the prospective criminal. My friend said I should get going while the local fuzz were busy, because very few cars with out of state plates made it through without being pulled over. I drove past the police car on my way out of town, he had the one eyed car pulled over, three teenagers with their legs spread and hands upon the car...
Welcome to the new millennium America.