Anybody can be homeless. You don’t need a driver’s license, social security number, legal address or even a legal name.
By Larry Hankin aka Barnum Justice
It’s getting crowded out here again. That’s not the problem. But I know why it’s getting crowded again. It’s because anybody can be homeless. You don’t need a driver’s license, no social security number, no legal address, you don’t even have to use your right name.
Anybody. C’mon down. The street doesn’t care. The stars and moon and the sun don’t care either. It’s just so cool that they’re there. Like I say, we take anybody: lame, sick, black, white, yellow, blue, green, polka-dot, stripes, big, little, round, square, male, female, hermaphrodite, LGBTQRXYZ, normal, abnormal, subnormal, loony-tunes, batshit-crazy, balls-to-the-wall-fucking-insane: c’mon down. That’s not the problem.
The problem is that this new crop of Newbies coming down now-a-days are completely unprepared. And I see it over and over again: their minds get completely blown away. Unnecessary. Shouldn’t happen.
So, what I’d like to do is give you a couple of little Gemstones and Rocks of Homeless Wisdom to put on the corners of the blankets of your mind, so when you become Homeless, your mind doesn’t get blown away. See what I’m saying?
What you’ll need is a box, backpack, shopping cart, something to put your stuff in, a sleeping bag, most of your arrest-provoking body-parts suitably covered, I’ll talk about that in a minute, two serviceable shoes, a minimum of two rolls of toilet paper, and an attitude of Heroic Buddhism, which I will explain randomly. However: Before we go any further, I’d like to make one thing very clear:
“The Purpose of this diatribe is to diligently pursue one objective: Since the United States is on the brink of having a permanent beggar and homeless class — and, since it’s been proven over the centuries that it’s impossible to get rid of beggars and the homeless throughout all cultures, ages & civilizations; therefore: If we can’t have less beggars and the homeless: we must have BETTER beggars, and homeless.”
First of all, back-in-the-day, most cavemen and cavewomen lived directly off their surroundings which went for miles, they sheltered in caves that didn’t face into the wind. You can’t get any more homeless than that.
The worst thing about living on the street is, you’re on your own, completely. Yes, you have friends and there’s the emergency room and a random soup kitchen and a homeless shelter – but, no matter what you do, your stuff keeps disappearing and you can’t get enough sleep or protein.
Let’s talk about People with Homes – which begs-the-question: “Why do People with Homes, or, as I like to call them, ‘The Homelessless’ – why do ‘The Homelessless’ not like me, ‘The Homeless’?” Simple Question; Simple Answer: Normal people have doorknobs, ergo: People without doorknobs are lying, cheating, lazy, drug-dealing, pariahs. It’s called Simple Logic. Don’t take it personal. It’s not you – it’s them: The Homelessless. What’s The Nightmare of all Homelessless Homo-sapiens? “Being Homeless.” To them, WE, The Homeless, are their own, waking, walking nightmare. We freak them out a priori, on visual sighting alone.
Okay, now, to be Fair-&-Balanced, we gotta look at ourselves from the Homelessless Citizen’s Point-of-View; “walk a mile in a doorknob owner’s eyes.” They don’t see what gifts our genius has contributed to Homo-Sapiens: the gift of Found Object Domicile Development using the detritus of mighty civilizations: corrugated crap, waste, junk, flotsam, jetsam, bubble wrap and the use of drapes, and broken furniture for warmth alone has advanced instant domicile recycling science by leaps and bounds.
Do you see them offering honorifics? Bowing to our ranks? Not really. What they see is us walking or sitting aimlessly around all day or panhandling for spare change; or drinking a café latte. (“Look at that homeless guy sitting drinking that Latte. I gave him a quarter last week and now he’s blowing it on a latte? These frigging people are drug-dealing pariahs.”)
See you next time I see you.
Barnum Justice is the name of a character the author created for a book he is writing about being homeless.