There he is again. What the fuck does he want? It’s not like its a challenge for him to find us, him being on a bicycle D and I on foot. Even amongst the Lower East Side crowds the street kids quickly recognize another. Some feral, no family to speak of, some psychotic, some just needing the next fix, whatever the source of the pain. Some just bad, the victims of horrific childhoods. When a new one rolls into town, or more specifically that part of town, Alphabet City, Tompkins Square Park, the once gutter punk junkie promenade, they get tested. Usually via attempted robbery.
He thinks were holding? He things were loaded? (street kid loaded=w/ over $5 in pocket) He wants to rape D or try to pimp her out? When she says she’d sooner take a contract hit I believe her. Still I’m more scared for her than I. I don’t think alone I’d attract quite the attention. I’m quiet, usually anyway, extremely skeptical, street smart, and constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Heroin addiction doesn’t help. or does it? She’s cute, and well built, open to new people and ok with confrontation, with big blue eyes that still hold some hope. Probably the most compelling aspect. I do try and dress well, not look homeless and like I’m sleeping on the street. My backpack is small and it’s few contents carefully selected for no holes or stains or such. I don’t want to look homeless. The 24/7 Beauty Pageant that America is.. never that. Maybe it isn’t real. Can’t be. I once lived in a million dollar home. It’s just a really really long really really bad dream.
The thing is I don’t have $5 let alone $10 on me. It’d be in my arm. We’re both perpetually sick. Flying signs seems the best hustle yet. Especially with the ever diminishing hopeful blue eyes. This is not San Francisco. People lock their doors, their cars, with multiple locks. And everyone wants to be a hero. Try boosting outta one of these shops, half the block turns to chase you. In SF they run—in the other direction—wild desperate junkie on the loose! Get the fuck outta his and her way, they’re capable of anything!
Two blocks and counting, no real destination in sight. We were supposed to pick up a couple bags we were owed a couple blocks away, in the other direction, but the kid has me nervous, and it ain’t just him. Theres several who scope D and I regularly, directly, and hard. Gotta come hard. It might be just past the days of Gulianni, but these are still the streets of New York City, and the weak get eaten, and the way I feel; perpetually sick, homeless, hungry, and 50 pounds underweight is weak. To put it very mildly.
And here i have a woman to protect. She always sleeps on the inside, but during the day, walking these endless blocks, sometimes from the LES to Harlem, sparing change there selling weed here boosting perfumes and coping dope around the corner. Back to the McDonalds bathroom to shoot up. Unfortunately it’s one of those bathrooms where water must be drown directly from the bowl..
That block is outta the question. I can see it from here and the kid with the bicycle is now hanging with 4 or 5 others we’ve not broken bread with. The same crowd thats got us on lock. The crowd that watches our every move. How the fuck are we gonna meet this guy…
That night we settle in just along side the park, which is locked and gated at night. next to Big Fat Al, a well respected OG, the one who owes us, and comes through. Nobody’s gonna fuck with him. Couple slabs of cardboard down, blanket outta the backpack, D gets the inside by the fence as we settle in for the night, or at least an hour or two of it.. hard to get a good 6 hours in public on pavement. Big Fat Al or not.
“A Day in the Life” will be comprised of mainly contributions from the presently unhoused. As I don’t presently qualify look forward to more stories from the outside, please pardon the pun.