Despite the fact that I generally like to avoid exercise and the outdoors, I have been spending quite a bit of time walking the trails that run near the creek behind my apartment recently. This weekend while I was innocently strolling along with Riley, I found a new path that led under a highway and since I had nothing else to do that day, I followed it.
When I got under the highway I noticed what appeared to be an abandoned stroller which I naturally walked towards, thinking I was about to score myself a free babe and hoping it was a girl. Upon getting closer, however, I realized it was just an abandoned shopping cart with a bunch of bags in it. A few feet to the left of that was a small tent with a large umbrella behind it to block the wind. Just as I was putting it together that I had stumbled across the backyard of a homeless man, a grungy little man opened the tent and welcomed me to his home.
Always intrigued by home décor, I was curious to know what he was working with on the interior of his tent so I strolled over to say hello. Aside from the fact that he was homeless, his one front tooth was rotting and he was extremely jittery, he seemed like a not-so terrible guy. I noticed he wasn’t wearing socks so I offered to bring him some and he told me that would be fine with him as long as they were either black or brown because wearing white socks was “girly.” Just as I was about to knock his tent down and tell him beggars can’t be choosers, a ping of empathy came over me and I felt like I really needed to hear this guy’s story.
After chit-chatting for a little bit, I learned he was a convict that was running from the law for reasons he didn’t feel comfortable disclosing (most likely murder) and that he wasn’t necessarily “homeless” but rather “in between homes.” After hearing this, I knew he was somebody I could put all of my trust in so I decided I would throw this guy a bone out of the kindness of my heart.
First I shared an old trick with him that I learned during my time on the streets: I had him catch a giant roach and put it in a zip lock bag until we arrived at a nice restaurant nearby. After receiving our food we released the roach, earning ourselves a free meal. Afterwards he was so overjoyed that I shared my knowledge with him that I decided I didn’t want the good times to end so I invited him over to my apartment for a little hang out session. On our way there he thanked me as he placed his hand on mine, giving me goose bumps, and I knew right then that I had fallen in love with this toothless yet shockingly personable criminal.
Since I rarely feel these feelings I knew I couldn’t ignore them so as soon as we got home, I put in my Rihanna CD and played the “We Found Love (in a hopeless place)” song on repeat, got on my knees and purposed.
As soon as I got on my knees, he kicked me hard in the stomach and screamed “YOU LOOK GOOD BUT YOU DON’T LOOK THAT GOOD” and sprinted out of my apartment after stealing my favorite turquoise vase. Sadly, this was not the first time a homeless man has shouted that exact phrase to me so I got the hint and promised myself I would never visit his side of the creek again.