So apparently my dedication to this here blog is as questionable as Enron's accounting practices. It's been over a month since I've last posted and admittedly that is unacceptable. So, I'm taking this opportunity to reaquaint myself with das blog and give you a taste of what I do best: have strange encounters with the even stranger characters of D.C.'s streets.
A couple weeks ago, on my way home from the gym, I see in the distance on P street a man on crutches. This man looks particularly downtrodden. He has a full beard (not unlike that of Limerick Man) and is dressed head-to-toe in hospital scrubs. I see that he is attempting to stop people on the street for whatever business he has to offer, however no one is giving this guy the time of day. Immediately I understand and accept that I will be the next person to be stopped. Point of information: I've become particularly hardened, jaded, cynical, call it what you may having lived in the District and have seen anything and everything you could possibly imagine. A bum fight in the Circle (check), a man in full men's clothing but wearing a woman's wig (check). P.S. that man was NOT Crooked Wig and Jumpsuit Guy. A guy holding a sign the reads "New York Times For Sale: $6.50/issue" but upon closer inspection he in fact is NOT selling the NYT but rather crumpled issues of New York Daily News, New York Post and the Washington Blade from three months ago (check). A woman taking a "shower" under the fountain in Dupont Circle (check). However, at this particular juncture with Crutches Guy my normally detatched self buckled under the weight of his sad state. Perhaps it was the intense heat or maybe I was in a good mood, I don't know.
As expected Crutches Guy approaches me and declares: "Excuse me Sir, I don't want any money but I do have a question. Do you live around here?" Any person with a reasonable head on his/her shoulders would immediately refer to one of the more crucial tenets of life: don't let crazy (looking) people know where you live. I also happen to be reading "Helter Skelter" so I should DEFINITELY be cautious of questionable contact with strangers. I'm all about those light summer reads, by the way. Nonetheless, I defy all better judgment and reply "Yes." After all my building was practically right in front of us. Crutches guy goes on to explain that he, again, isn't looking for money but had just had an unfortunate brush with the authorities because some lady at the Ben & Jerry's shop thought he was a flasher. In reality (according to him, of course) he was just trying to adjust the big bag of ice that was affixed by tape around his scrub-clad thigh. Anyone who's worn scrubs knows that if not tied properly they tend fall down. I could only imagine the day this guy had with his crutches, loose-fitting pants, 3-pound bag of ice and heat stroke-like condition. He also smelled really bad.
At this point the story takes a turn that even I couldn't have expected. He looks me dead in the eye and asks "Do you have any pants?"
Time, as far as I'm concerned, stops at this moment. Several things are running through my head: Did this guy really just ask my for pants? Do I have any spare pants that I'm willing to part with? It's one thing to let this guy know that I live in the general vicinity but it's another for him to watch me walk into my building that we are more or less standing in front of. If anything does goe awry, he's on crutches, I can take him. Does Weeds come on tonight or tomorrow night?
My come-to-Jesus moment ultimately results in me thinking about how life can throw (any of us) curve balls. Yeah my life is comfortable right now. It's easy for me to take advantage of that. It's easy for me to forget as easy as it is for me to go up to Cape Cod for a clam bake (which I did last weekend) it's just as easy for me to lose my job, my apartment and end up on the streets. There's really not that much separating us all. And really, if I were on crutches and hobbling down the streets of DC in 90-degree weather with scrubs practically down around my ankles wouldn't I want someone to give me some comfortable pants?
Additionally, I did just go through some old clothes and currently had a pile of old pants sitting on my bedroom floor, which I had planned to donate. To Crutches Guy I reply "stay right here." I ran into my apartment, grabbed some gray warm-up pants I had stashed in my donation pile and came back out to find Crutches Guy parked on the front wall of my building. When he saw me come back out with the pants in tow he seemed as surprised as I was that I had actually helped him. "Here you go" is all I said and I turned back around and went into my building.
When I came back into my apartment my roommate, who had been there when I first came in, says:
"where did you just go?"
"oh, I just gave a guy on the street some pants."
Then i went into my room to change.
This past weekend, walking down the street while talking to a friend on a phone I pass a guy who ominously points at me as we pass each other. After we pass I wonder "why in the hell did that guy just point at me for no reason?" 2 seconds later I get this whiff of heinous body odor and it hits me: THAT WAS CRAZY CRUTCH GUY WHO WANTED PANTS!!
So Kelly, as you've been turning over new leaves in Spokompton learning about torts, motions and civil procedure I've learned a little civil procedure of my own here in Wash-Town.
After thinking about it the point he gave me wasn't so much threatening but more recognition-based. It was like he was saying I remember you, thanks for the pants.
I only wish I weren't on the phone or I would have asked how they fit. I never did like those pants. It's funny the things you'll buy at outlets.