Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Homeless Makeover

Clara is not an ugly woman. With some makeup and nice clothes she could look really presentable. She is in her late thirties and still has perky breasts and a shapely bum. "I couldn't have kids," she told me one day. "That's why no man wants me." I stifled back a remark about how she lives her life is why a man wouldn't want her, but who am I to judge?

She had gathered herself today and was doing better. "You hungry?" I asked her, wanting to buy her a meal. She flashed a wad of what looked like five dollar bills as she grinned furiously. "Been panhandling over by restaurant row," she replied. I sat with Ferret as we talked about our postponed camping trip -- our homeless homecoming.

"You know what I hate?" Clara said interrupting Ferret and me. "I hate when you ask for a few bucks and they give you their to-go box from the restaurant."

Ferret laughed. I chuckled.

"Do I look that homeless?" Clara asked.

Ferret didn't say a word because he always looks homeless. It would be akin to the pot calling the kettle black. Ferret hasn't had a shower in weeks.

"The torn t-shirts don't help," I replied, trying to be nice. "And you could comb your hair. It would make you look less homeless."

Ferret and me watched as Clara disappeared into the dollar store to buy a brush and a new t-shirt.

"What do you take for your schiz?" Ferret asked while Clara was away.

"A Risperdal Consta shot in the ass."

"That's what she needs," Ferret said. "She needs a healthy shot of something in the ass to calm her down and bring her to her senses."

I chuckled once again at Ferret's blunt words. Clara came walking back out brushing her tangled hair. She had put her new t-shirt on in the bathroom of the dollar store

"How do I look?" she asked. "Better?"

"You look much better," I replied, kindly.

She grinned and put her brush in her backpack and then threw her old and torn t-shirt into the trash can next to us. I watched as she trudged across the parking lot headed back to all the restaurants in the shopping center a half a mile from here.

"She's going to work," Ferret said as he laughed.

"Yeap," I said musingly as I smoked my cigarillo. "She probably makes more money than I do writing. Women panhandlers have it easy."

Lunchtime called and I also wanted to get back home to check on Rosa. I told Ferret good day and rode my bike home after assuring him we were going to have our "homeless homecoming" another day.


david said...

This is a great little vision into life on the streets. Makes me glad I swung by.

Michalis said...

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LAB said...

I love love love your stories. I wish I could write this well.

Thanks for the little slice of life!

Hope Rosa is feeling better!

Leann said...

Hi Andrew,

Hope Rosa is feeling better. Things change so fast I can't keep up. Wish I could read you every day, but life demands keep that from happening. I'm please to hear you are doing well, or appearingly so.

Josie Two Shoes said...

I love how kind you are to others, Andrew, even when realizing the obvious facts! Clara probably went on her way feeling much better about herself today, what a nice gift to give someone!

amelia said...

I hope Rosa recovers and is OK.


It sounds like you're silently helping Clara, I like that!

Hope you're having a great day, and dear Rosa is feeling better.

You truly love her to postpone your wanderlust for the lust of her and the passion in your heart. Be proud of yourself..
and sweet dreams!! :)

Mike Riley said...

Fascinating insights into street life! You don't have just a skill for dialogue and action, you have the good fortune to find people worth hearing about. God bless you for your success in sobriety, and may you continue to write for years and years to come...


{,; comne visit]

greglo said...

HI andrew!
I like to see that your relationship with Clara has already been changing for the better. I'm curious about all the good that'll eventually come out of it. I like it very much when you write about the gang, as you said, the quality of the relationship with George, Ferret and the others sounds like real friendship!

On a different note I started a new blog to see if placing ads there would help making a few extra bucks. I talked a bit about you and your blog there... if it bothers you, let me know, I'll remove the post, ok?
Some of the posts - as you may guess ;-) - are in french, but I'll make a special effort to make this one bilingual!

it's there :

So basically, what I mean is ... feel free to check the ads!!!!! ;-(

Have a great day!


DianaTrees said...

A little sexist: Women don't need make-up to look better (especially better than men).

But the writing is crisp. The vision is clear.

Nicely done.