Farewell, Joe of Fair Oaks and Bellafontaine

I knew the names of the bums of the city. I conversed with them about nothing that mattered to anyone, not even them. Some I recognized, despite seeing them in another part of town the last time. Some haunt the same areas. Some of them even have a sort of celebrity about them. Monday nights are spent distributing food and clothing to them on 6th and San Pedro: Skid row. Treating bums like people shocked some of my friends.

I can’t picture you doing that, or how do you know that guy’s name is the general reaction to my doing this. After the initial shock, I’m then misconstrued as being benevolent, or a sweetheart, or philanthropic, or whatever else they want to believe. I had an ulterior motive -I ate the red berries.

Orangutans wait and watch for another one to eat the red berries before doing so itself. I wanted others to take it up themselves to start regarding hobos more as people than stray animals that want the contents within your pockets. We’re all hungry or poor sometimes and sometimes we’re both, but they were never actually stray animals that we can shoo away but stray people that we shoo away. I thought that if I did it enough, someone else would do it, then another, and another; making altruism and other gay shit contagious.

The thing my endeavor was always misconstrued for was that I actually cared what happened to these filthy people. It mattered squat to me whether they lived or died, and bums actually felt the same way in regards to everyone else. I knew this because I was once a hobo. I had had more money than was necessary once just the same. A real benevolent person spreads goodness without reward; this meant I wasn’t a benevolent person. I was an imposter. I wanted something in return. I wanted everyone else to actually be benevolent and actually mean it. This seemed more advantageous to humanity than going green or giving up red meat. This has become an ongoing scam of mine because after being in both the winners circle and the parade of losers, I saw something both sides were susceptible to; far worse than shooing away the flies to get to the scraps of a half-eaten sandwich soaked in aged mayonnaise.

Of this affliction, both the rich and poor would never defend with justifications or redemptive words. It is the deep degree of desolation that can only, only be attributed by loneliness. Worse are those that can’t recognize this disease; the loneliness they feel becomes terminal. I’m not a man with many beliefs. I was undoubtedly raised with beliefs and values (my parents are acquitted of the crimes of that state) that were conducive towards a healthier morality, but consequently, those beliefs and values have fallen prey to beasts like contradictions, paradoxes, improved knowledge, logic, etc. That being said, the immeasurable agony of loneliness is one of the few beliefs I know to be eternally consistent in which no creature is granted amnesty from.

There is nothing more fatal than to ignore another person so casually as if they didn’t exist: most question themselves as to why they are still alive on a daily basis while the voice of their hope cheers them on. The cheers lose enthusiasm each morning they wake up on pavement. There are certain bums I leave alone. The ones where it is physically possible to see how devoid of hope they are; they glide by, without fear, without anticipation, and without motive like a ghost. Real ghosts are intriguing at least, but these hoboghosts haunt sidewalks, and medically can’t give a fuck. They have accepted they are no longer affiliated with the human race.

Even if I don’t mean it aside from having a hidden agenda: I will call bums by their names to say hello to stroke our fake friendship, hope my spare change isn’t used for recreational treachery, and give out pink socks to the toughest looking hobos on Monday nights. Trying to trick everyone into eating the red berries sounds like a stupid idea. The fact one person feels unconnected to any of the other 7,022,410,584+ sounds like a stupid idea too.   


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