We have a resident homeless man who lives on and around the corner of Sutter and Taylor. He’s white, middle-aged, and covered in heavy black garb. His face is crusty pink from overexposure to the sun. Not sure how that’s possible since we rarely have good weather here in the city. When he sleeps on the sidewalk, he’s face-down, careful not to agitate his already-rotten complexion.
That’s when I like him best, when he’s passed out and non-threatening. I like it even better when he’s absent. I breathe a happy sigh of relief when I saunter down to the cable car without encountering him. I’m tired of crossing the street to avoid his pleas, “Spare change, pretty girl? Bye pretty girl.” That would be fine, if it weren’t for him following me occasionally, blubbering, “You’re pretty, pretty girl. Pretty girl.” He’s like an exotic cockatoo, just not endearing. He’s scary-looking, scary-acting, and he frightens me.
On the mornings I see him, I think, won’t he ever go away permanently? Won’t he die and leave me alone? What an evil thing to think. I go from thinking bad thoughts, to thinking badly of myself.
One of the dilemmas of living in the city–homelessness and hatred. Where is my humility?