Having nothing better to do Valentine's night, I decided to spend it under the overpass with a bunch of stock-traders turned alcoholics turned indigent. There was nowhere to plug in the space heater I brought, so the flowers died and the chocolates froze, but the brandy was a hit. After I set up my sleeping bag, popped a bunch of diet pills (no way was I going to fall asleep), and announced that I would pepper spray anyone who came within arm's length of me, I listened. I had no choice but to listen, because after the pepper spray announcement, everyone moved to the other side, cardboard boxes and all. What I overheard:
"That guy [me]. Wuh-zee doin'? Wuh-zee doin'? Writin' or somethin'. Some kinda big shot. You gotta knife? This jerky's frozen."
"That's not jerky, Bob."
"Smell that? That smells like eggs. You still got those ketchup packets? Quick, quick, before the eggs go away."
"You wanna know wat I tink? I tink dat Bush's suggestin' dat dare's no udder e'splanation fer eye-ranian-made weapons'n eye-raq udder dan oh-ficial eye-ranian sponsorshit uh smugglin' dem dare. Course, mos'weapons whoever
k'buy...could buy tru -- 'termediaries -- in the Mill'East. Anyone. Fuckin' anyone. Anyone got a cigarette?"
"Hey, I got a cigarette."
"Not goin' tuh pepper spray me?"
"No. I don't pepper spray anyone without a recognizable accent."
"Gareth Porter's da'name."
"Yeah, you sit there and make fun of the homeless, for your blog
. Your fancy blog
. Oh, you're such a good writer
. Picking on the most vulnerable members of society, you shit
. You'd be dead in about forty-eight hours here without the emergency generator you brought for the space heater."
(Overheard in my own head.)
(There are three of us?)
"This guy passed me the other day, real J. Crew, doesn't even make eye contact, and says 'You stink.' My clothes were clean, I showered at the Y, but it don't matter to a guy like that. Then he slips on some ice and falls flat on his back. I run over and rub my ass all over his face."
"I'm bored. Anyone want to get baked and drink some brandy?"