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No Place for a Gypsy

No Place for a Gypsy

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Published by John Whipple
In a country defined by private property, where does a person who has none go?
In a country defined by private property, where does a person who has none go?

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Published by: John Whipple on Nov 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/24/2013

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“You wanna help us out and tell us where
it 
is?”“I wish I could”And I really did wish I could tell the Forest Cops where
it 
was. By
it 
, of course, theymeant drugs. The problem was there were no drugs in my truck. There had not been anydrugs in my truck for a long time. They were a few years too late. I don’t party like I usedto. I am not all that interested in doing drugs anymore (well… maybe… if they arefree…) and I never travel with them because… well… because I don’t want to see what Iwas seeing that night.A fucking cop digging through all my shit.The last thing I wanted to see was a cop digging out my instruments. Being somewhatvaluable and precariously packed in cases that were falling apart after years of abuse onthe road this sort of scenario is a nightmare. I won’t even let my friends pack and unpack my instruments. It doesn’t matter that I don’t play them anymore. I still love them. Theyare family.They’re about all I have left.I did some soul searching after my last tour. I took long walks through the desert trying tofigure out where the fuck to go from here. There are no real answers and that scares me.There are few things more dangerous to a man’s soul than to believe he doesn’t have afuture. One thing is perfectly clear. This traveling musician shit isn’t working. Not by along shot. I came away from the last trip clearing about as much as a week’s pay from amediocre job. I had gotten to be a damn good performer. So much better than I thought Iwould ever be. I could get people dancing. I could make them laugh. I made good tips. Isold CD’s. But people just were not coming out to see me. People don’t know who Iam… or care.It’s over.That afternoon I went to the Basha’s in Sedona. The supermarket has a little cafeteriawhere you can drink cheap coffee and get free wi-fi. It is fluorescent lit and theatmosphere is shit but it is still the best coffee house in town. Even if all the rich retireesgive me dirty looks. It is still better than Java Love.An old homeless man with a cardboard sign attached to his backpack saying “Homeless.Willing to work.” approached me and asked me if I needed some shoes. He had an old pair of boots he was willing to give me.
 
I guess I looked like someone that down and out. I was dirty. I had not showered for weeks. My clothes were falling apart. It was easy to tell I was living outside and that Ihad not worn shoes for a long time.I have gone savage.I thanked the old man for his offer. I told him I had some shoes but I don’t wear them.There is no reason for it.“I am saving them for the Apocalypse” I said.Even though he was homeless and probably squatting out in the desert, he did have alaptop. As I was leaving I looked over his shoulder. He was on facebook.What an amazing world we live in.The forest cops said they had come into my campsite to ask me questions about someATV activity in the area. It was all bullshit. You don’t interview campers about shit likethat at night. You certainly don’t bring two trucks… one being a canine unit. They wereout for blood. I was their prey.The dog had “indicated”. He barked at the back of my truck. The dog was never wrong,they told me. They told me that if I didn’t tell them where the drugs were and they foundthem; I would be charged with a felony. “Concealment” or some bullshit like that. Todrive the point home, I was made to sit in the dirt, handcuffed, and watch a cop gothrough my life with rubber gloves. My nose itched. It is like magic. My nose never fucking itches normally but, sure enough, as soon as my hands are cuffed behind my back I need to scratch my face.I have no idea what the dog barked at. My truck is full of smells. It is as if a homelessman lives in it.I suppose there could have been a lost pipe or a forgotten bag of pot in there somewhere but whatever miniscule token of a crime committed long ago was in there it clearlywasn’t worth this fuss. There certainly wasn’t anything in there worth taking me to jailfor.Still the threat of jail hung over me like a Sword of Damocles. A nightmare to ponder while I watched the current one unfold. Jail would mean a trip to Camp Verde. It wouldmean everything I own would be impounded with my truck. If I got out I would have tohitchhike back up to Flagstaff. Unless there was a bus that would let me on barefoot... asmy shoes would have been impounded with my truck… or maybe I would run intoanother homeless man with an extra pair of boots… but that is only if I got out.
 
My thoughts were getting too ugly to handle. It’s not like I needed these assholes to comeout here and fuck my life up. I am no Socialist! I can fuck up my life all by myself thank you very much. I am not looking for a handout of government assfuck. All I reallywanted to do was get back to my fire, cigarettes and whisky. I had quite a night planned!Fuck.“You ready to tell us where it is yet?”This was getting old and I could tell that the cop was shrinking from the overwhelmingtask he had set himself on. Nearly everything I have is in that fucking truck. It would bedawn before he went through it all. I just had to wait this one out.He gave up just before he got to my instruments. That was the good news. The bad newswas that apparently Oregon canceled my license because they believed I no longer livedthere. I guess I forgot to tell somebody I was there… or something.Those fuckers.Well, the fact I did not have a driver’s license was just an appetizer for the night’s shitsandwich. The cops also saw fit to write me a ticket for illegal camping. I had only beenthere a few days and was nowhere close to the fourteen day limit. Still, he said since Icurrently don’t have a home I am using the forest for a residence… which is illegal. Ahomeless person is not allowed to camp. Go figure. I just stood there amazed at how thelaw was being drawn around me with my feet clearly on the outside of it. These littleregulations are nowhere to be found in National Forest literature or on their website.These were added just to fuck someone like me.Poor. That is.That’s just the way things are… here. If you are rich enough you can commit the mostatrocious crimes against the sky… the ocean…. animals… people… whatever you want.You can commit fraud. You can steal. You can even be so negligent that you injure people… make them sick… even die. Not only will you get away with it but you mightget even richer for it.If you are poor then well…. that is already a crime.and I am guilty.Give it another twenty years of morons running our government and people will have tohave a permit to use the fucking air.

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