Now I'm not one to mock the homeless, I do realize their grave situation, but sometimes they amuse me... when they're not scary.
When I was young we took a trip to New York city to visit relatives, and the homeless were rather persistent. They would follow me and talk inside my personal space asking if I had any money. I was 8, like I had any money on me. Well, scratch that, I had saved up to buy a packet of color changing markers. But because I'm selfish I supported my coloring fantasy, and ignored the dreams of others for food, clothing, or booze. Plus, they scared me.
Then there's the famous lady of the night that Claire and I always saw outside the Brueggers in Colorado Springs. She looked like she got in a battle with a cat and won, then wore it's pelt on her head as a trophy. But that paled compared to her fabulous makeup job. Well, her tattered hoochie clothes with the ripped stockings were also competing for attention. The fact that she was probably in her late 90s didn't help either. I couldn't help but shutter as I thought of which poor desperate man that would enlist her "services". Blech.
My most recent encounter was yesterday at a bus stop in St. Paul. I'm waiting at a stop that has a rather diverse collection of riders. None of them are sketchy. So, I'm standing for what seems like 50 minutes behind some Muslim women who are chattering with each other in a rapid cadence. Then along comes a chubby guy who looks like that high school-aged lost soul who once was a band geek, but decided his social stature would be greatly increased if he greased his hair and wore black clothes with an unnecessary amount of fasteners on them. He of course still has the geeky looking face, and the glasses (they always have glasses, wouldn't they do better with contacts?) and the timid shuffle of their walk. He comes and asks the Muslim women if they could spare any change for a homeless diabetic. They looked nervously at each other and started chattering even faster and clustered closer to each other. I think that they didn't have a clue what he said. Then since I'm standing behind the mob of draped women, he tries to wedge between them over to me, and asks me if I had any spare change for a homeless diabetic. I shake my head, because I only had enough for my bus fare. So, I wasn't actually lying, I was just being selfish because I didn't want to end up a homeless hypoglycemic. Does he actually think that he's going to get money? Why is he out there. Not to be cynical, but he seriously looked like his mother would be standing outside with a mug of hot chocolate and a cloth to polish off his glasses. He was well dressed, articulated his needs in a coherent manner, and he didn't smell.