Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Highlight of My Weekend

On Sunday, just before I was getting ready to head out on an errand with Fernando and Mateo, a very drunk and very homeless (there are degrees of homelessness after all) man took advantage of one of the semi-private semi-alcoves of our building, using it as a privy.

My natural emotion in almost any situation is anger. It is part of why I am so charming. But at the same time, I don't really like confrontation--in the past I have relied on being threatening to get around actual confrontation. I am like one of those brightly colored but harmless insects. My buzzed head and bigger than average size and the way that I look angry and menacing when I am trying to remember where it is I was going scares people who don't know me, when in fact I am harmless. So, though part of me wanted to yell at him and I muttered something about the police, I wasn't really going to do anything. Off on the errand.

When we got back about an hour and a half later, the man was still in our alley, sleeping off a drunk on the porch of the building across the way. Dutifully--I am on the board of the damned HOA--I dug around in the recycling until I could find a suitable piece of cardboard to scoop up the feces and then I got to scooping. Having scooped, I sprayed down and went to wake the man. I couldn't be too angry, though I had just nearly vomited inside the shirt I had pulled over my nose as a makeshift mask. I asked him to move along and then he wandered away.

But, then I thought, what kind of pseudo-society do we live in where there's not even a place where people can go to the bathroom. Even that little bit of dignity--a private place to take a shit--is removed from people, unless they are a paying customer. Now, I know the arguments against having public restrooms or making restaurants and other businesses open their restrooms to whomever. It raises their costs; it's an unfair burden on the restaurants; whatever. For what it's worth, I didn't much enjoy having to clean up what I did, either. But, I wouldn't want to be that guy.

6 comments:

RottweilerTOM said...

You're so Indiana shy. And true, you are very intimidating nonetheless. Dude, you don't rent YOU OWN so open your mouth so they guy doesn't come around again! Or, let Enya come over and let her sit by the window.

John said...

What I find most charming is the idea of a city in which the homeless bother to find an alley before shitting in public.

Almost as charming: Tyler's perception of himself as intimidating.

RottweilerTOM said...

No, John it's true. You should see Tyler at the Gym. He's very scary.

Yes a city that has too many ally's - which the author of this post hears me bitch too many times about...

RottweilerTOM said...

alley's

Tyler said...

alleys

RottweilerTOM said...

LOL - thanks Tyler ...You are indeed right. I am apostrophic.

I am a political scientist junkie not a writer.