My name is John, I’m a bum.

So you wanna talk to me and here my story? Got a dollar? Good. I’ll talk for a dollar. How much you gonna make on this story? Nothin or a hundred? Well if you make a hundred come back and give me another dollar. K?
You aint gonna ask my name? John. Yours? Huh.. that’s a good name.
Why you wanna talk to me? Cuz I’m the first bum you ran across? My lucky day. Well yeah I’m not busy.
What’s my regular routine like? Well fuck I’ll wake up here, this is my spot. How long I been here? Four years, yeah its my spot, everyone knows me here and they know its my spot. Oh so yeah, the routine. Well I wake up probably around seven or eight, go find some cans and dumpster dive till I have 105. Why 105? Cuz that’s 5.25 that I need for the vodka and coke. Yeah so I need a little pick me up he he he. Why? Cuz you get shakes if you don’t.
Then I go to the Gym. Why the Gym? Shower man. Free? No ha ha. I got myself a membership. First thing you do when you get on the street, get a membership for the gym.
Then I go by the store, they give me food stamps so I got food. Then I go to the library. I’ll use the computer, or read. What do I read? Oh you know, mostly science fiction. I liked Chronicles of Narnia and stuff. I don’t read great but I’m getting better. Where did I go to school? I didn’t go much, I went in Florida. Why?? Yeah I’m probably lazy. I heard it takes hard work to learn to work. My dad wasn’t around and my mom was on meth. Discipline wasn’t a big thing at our home. We got drunk all the time. How old? 10-15. Dad beat on us? Yeah yea he beat on us. Before he left. Where did he go? Prison. Why? Who gives a fuck. He just did.
Have I been to prison? Yeah, I stole and dealed. But two times you know, don’t want to do a third. You steal a third, like bread or something and you go for a long time. Les Miserables? Haven’t read it. Am I smart? Fuck no I’m not smart. You think I’d be here if I were smart?
Do I have kids? Yeah, I got two. Two grandkids too. How do I know? Daughter lives on another black. Son’s in jail. Yeah sometimes you get girlfriends here. Easier to be together you know. Were they born here? No in a hospital. Someone called I guess and got the ambulance here. Took them 15 minutes, both times. She almost died. Twice.
Do I want to be off the street…… Fuck man, it would be nice.. I just don’t know man.. I can’t hold a job man you know. Cuz like I’m good now but sometimes my fucking brain ain’t so good. I was in construction and I went crazy, almost put a 2×4 through my boss. Didn’t remember it either. I was arrested but boss didn’t press charges.
You live out here? Oh, in the burbs. Had a good childhood? Yea.. Parents still there? That’s nice. You help them? They help you? Oh that’s better. Why are you doing this? Journalism school. Sounds expensive. Yeah, no way for me..
Get robbed here? Easy, you know, shoes, blankets anything.. you know. But it’s the newbies, cuz you seem them later and you beat them up. So everyone is honest you know, no one takes your stuff. Except cops. Yeah cops. They like fucking with us. See something nice, confiscated. Why? I think they get bored.
What kinda people here? Oh all sorts. Mike was smart there but then you know broke his back. Dissability? No, he had his own business, can’t get disability. If you aint got family to help then you’re on your own. He said he lasted for a while. It’s not so bad for guys like him and me. You know I was like here after 15 when I ran away. Mike came here late but he was slow, you know. First the house, then car then tent then you just got a mattress. Jose, there he was in Nam, can’t work. Bar was a stripper but you know, looks and money don’t last. She was doing tricks I heard before but that don’t last too. Like you know after five years girls like her go. Why? You know.. just fucking gets sick and dies.
So yeah after the library, you make the rounds, maybe sit on corner if you feel social, get more cash when tourists walk around or the businessmen, they like feeling guilty so they sometimes give more. Oh yeah I know they’ll give. Feel guilty sons of bitches. Fucking privilege and shit. Why were they fucking born in a nice family, gave them shit, got them to college, you know they did. For every asshole that paid his way is a hundred who didn’t. They think we game the system but they fucking game the system. Yeah I knew a gal with five kids who got an extra hundred. But I read them newspapers, half them pricks don’t pay taxes. I’d pay taxes if I could, mother fuckers…  But shit what did this country give to me? My dad beat me, I skipped school, I did meth, did I get help? Fuck no. I got sent to jail. Did I get help in jail? Fuck no.

But you know.. I got it better than some.. Look at Jose that poor fuck. He’s still in Nam. Every Veterans day he goes to to city hall and spits on it. Spits on every fucking person walking by him for sending him to Nam, bringing him back and leaving him to die here like a dog. He told me gooks in Nam get better life than he a “Veteran” here.

Am I happy? Fuck you man, take your dollar bitch ass. You sleep here one night and I’ll see how you’re happy. Yeah you keep walking you privileged little fuck. Write your fucking little paper, hope you feel good and choke on it. Fucking pity man. Hate you fucks with your fucking pity man.

Sorry man.. sorry… not you.. you’re a good kid. I gotta go. Gonna get some more cans, I can use a drink. Aw thanks brother, appreciate the five. God bless.

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