Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Thu

30

Nov

2006

Closer to Home
Thursday, 30 November 2006 10:47
By David Swanson

I did something worse than St. Augustine did when I was a kid. I must confess I broke into a house on the other side of town, and I did it just because it was such an ugly beat-down house that needed work so badly. Well, that and I kind of wanted to move out of my parents'.

I broke in at night and I started the renovations. I smashed a lot of the furniture up and actually knocked out a couple of walls. I destroyed the electric panel and stopped up the toilets. The place was a serious, serious wreck, and I was pretty tired, and the owners came home.

They were an elderly couple, and they threatened me and threw stuff at me, but – I'm ashamed to say -- I got a little rough with them and put them in their place. The trouble was, there were two of them and the phone still worked. One of them called the cops, who showed up pretty fast.

I explained to the cops what a wreck the house had been before I'd gotten there, and that seemed to satisfy them at first. Eventually I had to slip them $200 before they would leave me alone. But they were the least of my problems. And when they left, I didn't know what the old man had given them.



It turned out the old folks had installed video cameras in the house, so they had tapes of me busting in and destroying the place, and boy did I come off looking like an idiot, not to mention a criminal. They showed the things on the TV news a little. Then the public debate began.

Most people said I had a moral duty to stay in the house and make sure it didn't get any worse, especially with those walls knocked out. It had been wrong for me to break in, they said, but now that I was there I had better stay until things were worked out properly.

But other people saw it differently. They thought the only way I could come out ahead would be to kill the old couple.

There was a third group too, although they never got mentioned on television. Those were the ones who thought I should just pick up and leave. Those were the ones who worried me. For one thing, if I ever did leave, I knew I would catch hell back home.

I didn't worry too much, though. All I had to do was make sure people knew that if I left, things would get worse. That was what I told the nosey neighbors, and by that means I stayed in the house for several days.

But there was only a limited supply of food in the refridgerator, and I had to give SOME of it to the old couple as long as I was keeping them alive. So, I started selling anything of any value in the house to the neighbors so I could order food. I told them I was using the money to repair the walls so the house wouldn't fall down, but…well… I wasn't. And as if that wasn't enough of a hassle, the old couple kept trying to poison me or electrocute me, even at the very instant I was giving them their dinner. I had to be pretty firm with them, but I could see that it was getting to the point where they just didn't give a damn about anything anymore.

When I'd been in the house for about three months things really grew desperate. The old man and the woman by this point were both ill and coughing all the time, and they had it in for each other as much as for me. The beauty of that was I could tell my parents that I couldn't leave or the couple would kill each other. I had to stay to protect them. And in fact I kept screaming at them to stop fighting each other, but they wouldn't do it. So, I really did feel obliged to stay and watch out for them. Besides, how much could they really do for themselves when their wrists were chained to their ankles?

But I was running out of items to sell, so I began renting out rooms to homeless people and selling pieces of the house itself, like windows and railings, to neighborhood kids to play with. Then the police began taking an interest in me again. Plus the tenants began taking sides with the man and woman against each other and threatening an all-out brawl in the living room.

When I thought things couldn't get any worse, two things happened. First, I promised the cops things would get worse if I left. Second, I stayed and things got worse. For one thing, someone in the house called my family and threatened to kill my brother. And I couldn't get them to admit who had done it, so I had to torture a couple of the tenants before I found out. When I found out who had done it (or so I thought at the time), I tied the young guy to a stake in the front yard and burned him. I was sure that would end my troubles, and I wish that were the worst of my confession, but that's when the whole episode began to escalate.

More from this author:
U.S. v. Bush (6755 Hits)
By David Swanson Now, we almost all agree that Bush and Cheney have done bad things. But have they actually committed crimes? If you know...
The Melbourne Minutes: New Downing Street Memos from Down Under (7856 Hits)
By David Swanson Over a year before the United States launched an endless war on Iraq in what President George W. Bush told Congress was...
Be All That You Can Be: Leave the Army (6464 Hits)
By David Swanson As long as there has been a U.S. military, people have been leaving it. That choice has never been more appropriate than...
Honesty in Iraq (5426 Hits)
By David Swanson The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently published an editorial that said of Bush: "His pronouncements now bear no...
Live Blogging from Gates Hearing (4757 Hits)
By David Swanson 9:15 a.m. ET, 12/5/2006 -- The hearing hasn't started yet. Ray McGovern is sitting in the front row. If the questioning is...
Related Articles:
The "War for Oil" Comes Home (7773 Hits)
by Chris Floyd U.S. Drops Bid Over Royalties From Chevron The "War for Oil" is not just being fought in Iraq, you know. For as...
Fighting the Iraq War...at Home (7965 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff I had just gotten to the gym yesterday, and had started on the treadmill, when a barrel-chested young former marine recently...
A War That Will Hit Home (3524 Hits)
by Russell Wellen Attack Iran and the "homeland" won't know what hit it. Remember the stories our parents or grandparents...
National Peace Organizations Call on Congress to Stop Funding the Occupation of Iraq and Vote to Bring our Troops Home in 2007 (14290 Hits)
Congress Dithers as Americans Across the Country Mark the Beginning of the Fifth Year of War and Occupation of Iraq Silver Spring, MD -- On...
Land of the free, home of the War on Terrorism - The Anti-Empire Report Some things you need to know before the world ends (4216 Hits)
by William Blum "They told us this was one of the world's worst terrorists, and he got the sentence of a drunken driver," said Ben...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top