There’s this crew of homeless people near central station- they live inside this big walkway tunnel and every couple of weeks the police move them along, but they always come back. Their little group comprises of thieves, drug addicts, alcohol abusers and prostitutes. It’s funny, because begging is like their full time job. They go out to work the streets, and then they all come back to their little “home” at 5pm and sit around smoking the drugs and drinking the alcohol they bought with their donations. It’s an interesting cycle and I’m not 100% sure why anyone actually gives them money.. but that’s my opinion. I bought a homeless man cigarettes once so I can’t really talk.
So the other day I was wearing these sandals when I looked up and realised I was steadily approaching the homeless people in their little tunnel that I have to walk through to get to the station. I mean, I could take another route but that would add at least 5 minutes to my journey.. and I am not willing to compromise on that.
I’ve always been someone that crazy people and homeless people are drawn to. I don’t know what it is about me, maybe I look like an easy target to rob or something. Maybe I look gullible enough to give someone drug money. I remember when I was a kid, I was at a playground with about 50 other kids, playing happily by myself as I always did, when this disabled boy came right up to me, knocked my happy meal from my lap and gave me an Indian burn on my arm so hard that it almost bled. I ran over to my mum, and I could tell she felt a little uncomfortable because what can you say to a parent of a disabled child? And she just said “you’re ok- sometimes you have to remember that people have problems in their brain that can’t be fixed. He didn’t mean to hurt you, he was probably just trying to play, but doesn’t know how yet”.
My best friend in primary school was a girl with a disability also… everybody hated us and threw their lunch at us. Once, in year 1, these big kids on the bus were bullying her and calling her a dick head, so I yelled at them and told them to stop being so mean. Then, the next day at school I told the principle and they got in so much trouble, even though they INSISTED that they actually called her “dickie from playschool”. Lying sons of bitches. So then they gave me crap for the rest of my time at that school, bullying me because I was a “dibber dobber”. But I didn’t care because I was defending my friend who couldn’t defend herself.
In New York, I tried to give this homeless guy some of my spare change and he clung to me for about 45 minutes while he explained to me the cycle of life as believed by Buddhists or something. He gave me a Catholic Prayer Book and then I quickly made up an excuse to leave. I walked for about 5 minutes before I looked back and saw him chasing me, screaming “AMBER! AMBER! CAN I HAVE THAT MONEY?”. So I gave him my cup of money and then he went scrambling back in to the bushes of Central Park.
So anyway. The people in the tunnel. I was walking through when I accidently made eye contact with one of the older guys. I instantly knew that I was going to be a target.. so I just went with it. I started to form an awkward jog-walk-run-trot, when he yelled out “Why you gonna run away? I’d tap that!”, and then, mid trot-run-walk, I felt a splash on my legs and was engorged with the sounds of tremendous laughter around me. “I wouldn’t do her now! She just stepped in my PISS!” he said. And then they all laughed for about 40 minutes while I skulked away, sullenly, feeling like I had just contracted herpes in my feet from his drug urine.