Friday, March 6, 2009

The Weather- She's Fucking With Me Again

It is a gloriously sunny 54 degrees outside.
I'm sitting on a bench along State Street eating my $2 Taco Bell lunch and watching the the wildlife.

There's a street musician across the street beating out his rhythm on plastic buckets. Next to him is, I shit you not, a fucking MIME! He is dancing inside his invisible box to the pulse of bucket man. And there is HomelessBob sunning himself across the street.

HomelessBob is one my new friends since I started working on campus. I call him HB. No, really, I do, and it was his idea. He lives in doorway alcoves and has the funkiest bluish-purplish coat I have ever seen. I almost asked him where he got it because OMG, WANT. And then I realized, that I'm an asshole. But really, the coat is furry like Grover from Sesame Street and is the color of wild periwinkle. It has giant buttery yellow buttons and a stain of indeterminant origin along the bottom right side in the shape of Jesus. I'm so not making that up. If I had that coat I'd take it to the drycleaners (because who knows where that coat was before HB got it. Ewww) but make them swear on their left testicle that they would not remove the that stain.

HB is a sweet man who is probably in his mid 40's. At one point on a fridged cold day I watched a ditzy coed dig something out of her purse and a $20 bill went flying out in the process. That little bit of life-sustaining paper blew smack dab into HB's foot. He bent down, picked it up and returned it to the flighty little twit with a smile, explaining that she had dropped it. Without returning his sweet grin or even giving him a grumpy thank you, she grabbed it from his dirty weathered hand and shoved it back in her purse. That was it. She then turned her back on him and acted as if nothing had happened. Being clearly dismissed, HB turned my way, winked at me and returned to his spot huddled next to the building in order to avoid the wind.

HomelessBob and I have shared several cups of coffee together this winter and if I splurge on lunch along State Street I try to grab something for him too. So far I have learned that he likes Indian food, especially the pita bread dipped in cucumber sauce but he does not like refried beans. He prefers a big bottle of water over a soda and needs lots of extra napkins.

HB didn't join me for lunch today. He was "busy" reading a book, a half eaten sub sitting on his left knee. HB explained to me that a couple of years ago one of his "special friends" bought him lunch and a book from a used bookshop. When he was done reading the book a week later he went back into the bookstore and asked the owner if he could exchange it for a different book. The owner said that as long as HB took really good care of the book and brought it back in good condition that he would exchange it for him. He has gotten a new book every Tuesday ever since. HB's reading level is probably around that of a 2nd grader and he prefers books with lots of pictures. He has 4 large plastic bags to hold all his worldly possessions and the coolest coat I have ever seen. His birthday is Easter Sunday because that's when CrazyPreachyMan brings him a present every year, a new blanket. When I told him that Easter was coming soon and asked him what else he would like for his birthday he said "A Puppy!" Me too HB, me too.

Talk about perspective. HomelessBob has barely enough of anything to stay alive. But in his mind, barely enough is still enough. And while he loves having a few "special friends" to break bread with him or challenge him in a game of checkers (Did you know that you can still play when there are 4 pieces missing? Also, HB cheats.) he wants a dog that he can "share everything he has with." *boggle* A canine friend who will love him no matter how dirty he is. Will kiss him no matter how how few teeth he has left. Who will bite the ass of SnottyCoeds... doh, sorry. I'm projecting there.

My point? Hmm, good question. My point I think is this. We are all walking a tightrope. We have more than enough but in this economy it would only take a slight misstep to fall. If I get to hang out with HB on days like this, reading books and watching the natives go by I might not mind so much.


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3 comments:

ModernMom said...

Just stumbled across your post and had to tell you how much I enjoyed it! Have a sunny day :)

LilliGirl said...

Awesome, lady you are. It was great to see everyone come outside today and enjoy the sun, but it sounds like you got a treat.

Stacie said...

great post!!!