No political slant needed for this one.
In the neighborhood where my establishment is located, the underworld pulse is strong with drug and criminal activity. The naïve won’t notice it, at least at first. To them this place is a quaint, historical district with lots of character and charming people. Personally, as I approach my 13thyear in this part of Portland, I can almost smell the debauchery. That is, when I can’t see it. The denizens of these streets identify themselves as participants by manner, dress, behavior, and also by a vibe that I’ve learned to pick up on that I really can’t describe. (This is further evidence that I’ve been here too long.) Mark Edward Olson is no different. Although I’ve never met him, I’ve observed enough to not be surprised at what I learned last Sunday morning.
In the apartment building directly across the street from my bar, he was repeatedly stabbed and left for dead around 6am. Death didn’t find him, as of yet, but it’s clear that a lot of other trouble has. I mean, it took no effort at all to find his mug shot. This particular one is for an earlier arrest involving methamphetamine. So, as Mr. Olson lays in the hospital in critical condition, the question that comes to my mind is, are there really any innocent parties here? Sure, there was a victim of horrible violence who may or may not survive. But isn’t it clear that he simply reaped what he sowed? And should they ever get out of jail, isn’t it safe to assume the two arrested for this incident will meet a related kind of fate?
I’ve learned a few truths about this aspect of my underworld. One is that addiction is indeed a disease, but it’s one ignited by bad decision making which is launched by an absence of a moral foundation. This void can usually be placed at the feet of uninvolved parents. Secondly, street justice has a way of evening itself out. Innocence doesn’t exist in the underworld, so each action is an affront to someone with the mentality to exact revenge. The future isn’t often considered. Consequences are never considered. Rather, getting even and getting “rich” while maintaining credibility within peer groups is all that matters.
Of course, this is all relatively short lived. Morgues and prisons put a stop to at least this version existence. It remains to be seen if Mr. Olson will end up in either after this incident. And if he doesn’t, I have no doubt he’ll get another shot soon.