two stories

1) It’s been duly established that our neighborhood is not the quietest in greater Boston, but the profane shouts we heard at 10pm the other night were out of the ordinary, even for Eastie. I looked out the window and saw was a tall black man ranging all about the sidewalk, yelling gibberish. Ranging with glory, he was, until he collapsed on the sidewalk in tears, begging for someone, anyone to kill him. Someone had called the cops, and we neighbors in our neighborly way all stepped outside to watch the fracas. “I just hate that,” one neighbor commented. “He’s from up the street, you know,” [insert: a drug treatment center – addiction recovery] “those people, they take too many meds, they take too few, this is what happens. Those people oughta be shot.” Without another word, I stepped inside, poured out my wine, and curled into in bed, suddenly knotted throughout with anger and shame.

2) Sunny day, I’m walking through the parking lot of Liberty Plaza, home to such fine retail establishments as Blockbuster Video, Tello’s, and AJ Wright. I crossed paths briefly with our resident freakjob, a dreadlocked, grocery-cart-pushing, weird-clothes-wearing homeless dude. I kind of like this guy. He never bothers anyone, never hits anyone up for change, and once I saw him eating yogurt in the park. He’s the kind of freakjob I’d like to be, if I ever really went off the deep end. “Hey miss!” someone is calling me “Miss!” A little Italian man whose nametag suggests he works in the bottle redemption center of liberty Plaza’s liquor store and who wishes to regale me, at length, about the state of society as evidenced by the homeless freakjob. I nod, polite, but seething inside. “I mean, I work, you know! You work, right?” “Right,” I lie. “Our tax dollars, and this is what it comes to. People like that should be locked away.”

People like that. People like me. People so in the grips of their disease that they don’t belong in the realms of the straight millieu. It stands as a measure of my own tentative grip on sanity that I didn’t suggest to BOTH wise gentlemen that they bend down and lightly tongue my ballsack. No sweetheart, just a little to the left.

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