Saturday, April 15, 2006

Caligula Was Exceptional, Too

[The subsidized apartment building I live in is called The Union Hotel. It's run by DESC, Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center. All the residents have been homeless. I write a column for the monthly building newsletter. The column is called Out of My Mind. I'm posting them here, properly dated, because I can. -- wes]

[This was the first one.]

Hello. My name is Wes, I live on the third floor and sometimes I get ticked off.

For nine years, from 1990 to 1999, I had a Green Singing Finch named Zino keep me company in the various places I lived. I was even able to keep him when I was homeless because Tim Harris, the founder of Real Change, let me keep him at the Real Change office. Green Singing Finches, in case you don't know, are 3 and 1/2 inches long from beak to tail, originate from Africa, around Mozambique, sing, and belong to one of the subspecies of faux-finches that were used to breed canaries.

So did anyone ever complain about Zino in all that time? Of course someone did. Tim Harris complained. His desk was ten feet from Zino's perch and from time to time he was heard mumbling something like, "Chirp, chirp, @#$%-ing chirp."

But Tim Harris is the exception, and, let's face it, so are or were Charles Manson, Fabio, Pee Wee Herman, Howard Hunt, and Caligula. Are we going to live our lives according to the views of exceptions like these? Of course not.

I want a bird and the Union and DESC won't let me have one unless I get a psychiatrist to say I need a 3 and 1/2 inch companion animal.

Because I am honest, and because I won't say that I need a companion animal when I have an Anitra Freeman, who also lives here, to keep me company, weird exceptions like Tim Harris, Pee Wee Herman, and DESC's [Director] Bill Hobson get their way, and normal honest people like me and like you, the reader, never get what we want.

That's the way things are, and that's why sometimes I have to let
things out.