(don't) talk to strangers
I tend to be a literalist. It can be a problem. So I'm immediately hung up on the "fuck-face" -- just... wow. Fuck-face. Who says that? And then there's the "yeah, keep walking" -- it's like some kind of threat/challenge, but... why? I'm walking home. Yes, I will keep walking. Thank you.
And then I just wondered what it was about me, personally, that inspired the "fuck-face." These were dirty street rats -- not kids and not the kind of crazy homeless people I work with. These are the semi-dangerous seeming, seemingly able-bodied adults (typically male) who hang around on Hawthorne vaguely drunk all the time, yelling at each other and being unsavory. I could picture them targetting some guy in a suit or a woman in expensive clothes... I don't know, I can see them going after "the man." But me? Am I "the man?" Maybe it was my cell phone.
I am simply puzzled by it all.
Then there's the guys I walked past last night who were sitting on their stoop drinking beer from bottles. One said "spare a cigarette?" These guys appeared to be sitting on their own apartment stoop, drinking bottled beer, yet trying to bum cigarettes off passers-by.
Now, I don't smoke so maybe I don't truly understand. But as I finished my walk home, I thought of the absurdity of asking for things from strangers. I imagined myself asking people walking past my house "hey, can you spare a candy bar?" "Pardon me, got any hamburgers?" "Excuse me, ma'am. Got five bucks?"
I feel uncomfortable just thinking about asking a stranger to give me something. I can't even imagine feeling the level of entitlement that must exist before I could just walk up to some stranger and ask them to give me something I had a hankering for. I can't begin to imagine.