Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Magic Hobo: Wishful Thinking

New York can be magical.

Even the homeless people have their magic, if they are jolly and singing beautiful songs, or shaking their change cup with gusto and rhythm.

You even have the opportunity to give them a dollar and feel like a modern-day hero.

Just found this by Google Searching: "Magic Hobo".

It is all good, of course, unless you are being accosted by them. Then it can be scary. Last year my friend was deliberately struck in the head by a homeless man- and I think she is suffering from PTSD. Also, I just remembered, once an old man with a walking staff and a Santa Clause beard was giving an angry, booming speech in the subway about how the "Bible clearly states that all women are EVIL". And then he just stopped and stood next to me, looking right at my face, and slowly and maniacally laughing.

Wow, I had forgotten all about that until writing this.


Anyway, less frighteningly, the other day during my lunch break I was trying to walk really fast, not sure whether I had enough time to make it up and back to the old lady bra store shop was almost 20 blocks away (I didn't), but I was weaving in and out of people and trying to walk non-stop without having to waste any time stalling behind wheelchairs or strollers, and all of a sudden I was hit with a piece of bread. Because a homeless lady threw it at me.

I had seen her ahead of me while I walked, she was sitting by a building and talking to some faraway sparrows near the curb. She was pointing at them, "EAT little birds! I want you to eat that bread! See it over there, bird?" as she pointed to a piece of crust that they were ignoring.

Then I walked in her path and she threw a piece of bread at me- trying to feed the birds I guess -or maybe she was just taking out some old anger at her mother on me- probably not though, and I didn't really waste much time being confused or annoyed because I should have seen it coming: Never get in between a homeless lady and her birds.

I brushed the stale crumbs off the side of my coat, and moved on, never making it to the store.


Then later, just because the Universe really didn't want me to forget that there are many unhinged hobos all around me, as I was walking through Columbia University area there was an all-out brawl between three homeless men. I was 2 feet away and walking past them right when one burned the other with his cigarette, and as he screamed in pain, the third man hit him really hard on the back with a granny cart.


And then yesterday on the subway a man uttered high pitched screams over and over again, like a metronome from Hell, just screaming and staring at the ceiling, over and over and over. Then before he exited the train, he looked straight at a crying child and yelled in some sort of foreign or maybe devil-based language, eyes bulging, before getting off the train and shuffling around the platform.


"Don't get too comfortable" said the Universe with a sigh, "not all hobos sweetly call out 'tuppence a bag' like only a sooty old cockney grandmother could.... Be careful."

"...Fine, Universe"