There are several shopping centers in town. The one I frequent has a few restaurants, two dollar stores, a grocery store, and some hair/nail salons. I was asking Ferret this morning what draws us all down here everyday.
Ferret shrugged and said, "It is just the place to be. Everybody knows this is where to hang out."
I mused for a minute about how it is the only shopping center with benches.
"George came everyday for the patrons," I replied. "The grocery store was good business for him."
"Why do you come down here?" Ferret asked as he took a long drag from his cigarette.
I didn't tell him the truth -- that I come down here as some odd amateur social scientist chronicling their tales and adventures to be put on a weblog or blog.
"I like the company," I said as I smiled, feigning honesty, as I lit my own cigarillo.
I read a journal of a homeless man named Albert Vanderburg for the longest time. He hasn't written in over a year, but his archives are still on the web. Albert and his homeless friends would all congregate at the local shopping mall. In Hawaii, at that certain shopping center, you could get a quarter dollar for every shopping cart returned. This kept Albert in cigarettes and beer for over a year -- his sunset brews he would call them. I chuckled as I imagined such a scenario for "my gang" as well. It would be pandemonium and Big S would probably lose a hundred pounds. Dexter would be the worst offender -- always scrambling for an empty cart. I guess it is cheaper to pay a lackey minimum wage to retrieve them here. I finally settled on the benches being the main attraction at our shopping center, and the central location to town and the neighborhoods.