Hobo Handbook: Memoirs of a Homeless Poet in New York (Excerpt #29)


 By Daniel Canada c.2010 


COCONUT Sometimes a name doesn't fit a person to a tee. However, when I say "Coconut," I’m implying that one has said their last parting remarks to their sanity and proceeded to make peace with the darkness of the mental void that follows afterward. Well, "Coconut" hasn't really gone completely off her rockers yet. She's just, how does one say, a little maladjusted when she takes too many hits off her crack pipe. That's right, folks, I said her crack pipe. "Coconut" goes nuts-no pun intended-when she wakes up the next morning after a big night out. Ranting and raving, she looks around to make eye contact with any poor passerby, who might be caught up by her crazy frolicking. 

Look at her once, which isn’t hard to do with all her blustering, and you have an enemy for the day, if not for life. That's of course if you don't just keep on walking. "Coconut" will throw a hissy fit, cursing and hollering at the top of her lungs at the unfortunate chap that dared to look her way. Let’s just say she has a few adjustment issues, which come to the fore after a night of partying.

“Coconut” sets up her camp underneath convenient construction scaffolding, along Thirty-Second Street and Broadway. In the daytime you can witness the remains of her personal effects. There are raggedy and torn blankets and other discarded accessories, along with a confusing amount of debris that comprised her campground the previous night.

On one occasion, when I happened to be walking by her "camp" in the wee hours of the morning, I saw her, plain as day, with her pants and underwear down around her ankles, in a low squat, taking a piss down the sidewalk storm drain. Believe me it was not a pretty sight and is a true measurement of the degree of her Skeksiness.
The moral of this story is, look! If you do have a substance abuse situation, like crack and what not, try not to let it get to the point where you have to become like "Coconut." Keep it on the low, and reserve it for the weekends. If your wonderful habits do cause you to lose your home and to land you on the street, you’re shit out of luck, and no one’s going to really give a damn about it or put themselves out to salvage you. At this point in life you’re a grown-ass-adult, and as the saying goes, “if you make your bed hard, you got to lay on it.”

So don't lose the reigns of control over some “get high.”

Better yet: Leave the damned crack alone!

Remember this maxim: If finding a friend for the day, or an enemy for the day, like “Coconut” attempts to do, can be a difficult and lonely preoccupation on Main Street of your hometown, it’s going to be a bitch to pull off in a city as vast as New York.

And yes. I did just make the adage up, off the cuff, myself.

I never claimed to be a sage.

(To be continued...)