In this post from December 2011 (3 items down) I mentioned finding a possible homeless person's "nest" in the alley behind our house.
We only live four houses up the street, so since then I've made it a point when driving out of the 'hood to look for evidence as I pass the end of the alley.
Several times last week I spotted new blankets while leaving on some errand but always forgot to check it out by the time I got home. Would have used the notepad app on my phone to leave a reminder, but operating such fancy devices while driving is against the law now.
I was out back crushing aluminum cans a few days ago when I finally remembered, and this is what I found:
I was a little ticked-off the first time, because someone was essentially squatting on our property.
According to the city, we are responsible for the upkeep back there, and apparently the people across the way know this because that guy's mower and weed-whacker are strangers to what lurks between our fences.
It took me years to get the jungle behind our fence under complete control after the previous tenants (renters!) let it go to hell, and with the exception of occasional piles of blankets and pillows it's now the neatest stretch of the alley by far.
When I thought it was a homeless person's camp I wasn't really angry because their situation was obviously more tragic than mine. Felt bad whenever I felt mad, y'know?
In my head there was also the possibility that some teenagers were using the "bed" to hook up, or that one of our adult neighbors had a cheatin' heart and no imagination--and that raised my indignation a few notches.
In the above photo did you notice the empty hydrogen peroxide bottle?
I was confused at first, until I found this:
Having met a few glue and paint-huffers in New York's urban alleys while loading band equipment into grungy bars, I'm schooled enough to know that they "decant" the product into another container before inhaling it. With canned air like this it's important so you don't freeze your mouth and lungs, as I learned on a startling episode of 'Intervention'.
Someone is abusing inhalants in my alley, and they're hitting it hard enough to need a lot of comfort or having to sleep it off?!?
Gloves are off.
Huffers are unpredictable and dangerous.
The latest pile is already in the landfill and if it happens again (how many old blankets/comforters can they have?) I'm taking measures.
Surveillance is ramped up already and between my garden hose and band spotlights, a harshed buzz is the least of their worries. Wouldn't mind getting a stealthy photo of the perp "inaction", but a few of the SAPD busting them will be just as good.