Hobo Handbook: Memoirs of a Homeless Poet in New York (Excerpt #34)


By Daniel Canada c.2010



ENTREPRENEUR There isn't anything wrong with trying to make a buck or two, when you're out here on your ass. Some homeless people turn to stealing. Those who have a little more ethics simply panhandle. Some hustle, while others turn to more nefarious means to obtain those dead presidents. Entrepreneur’s one of those hustlers who just doesn't quit and never misses a trick, when it comes to trying to make a few greenbacks.

Check this out.

It's the day before Veteran's Day, 2007. And I'm standing on the soup line, listening to the ratings of “Entrepreneur.” He's telling everybody about how much cash he's going to rake in, selling a bunch of miniature hand-held flags in which he obtained for free, at the upcoming parade.

"Don't you all see the dollar signs, in my eyes?" he asked anyone who would listen, as he bats his eyes repeatedly, imitating a cash register ringing up its till.

“Uh…No. I don't get it, dude,” is our reply, as we shuffle along on line.

“Entrepreneur” likes to babble on and on about various money-making schemes, hatched from the nebulous regions of his fertile mind.

No, I’m not hating on the brother!

It's just that sometimes it gets to be a bit much. He just never relinquishes talking! 

As a follow-up on Entrepreneur’s grand design to make a killing at the Veteran's Day Parade; due to the current state of war in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, the powers-to-be decided to scrap the yearly Veteran's Day Parade, which was usually held before the screaming throngs of tens of thousands of New Yorkers, down Fifth Avenue. Instead, they held little mini-parades, scattered discreetly across the five boroughs. 

For me that was not a problem. I proceeded to do what I normally do on any giving day. Nothing in particular. As for “Entrepreneur,” well, needless to say, the "Skek" was devastated. Not surprisingly, he was the most quiet one on the soup line the next day.

On the downside, sometimes “Entrepreneur” can be seen noiselessly, standing by himself, engaged in a vigorous and unheard conversation in his head. I mean, even though you can see his head moving animatedly as if he was heavily engaged in dialogue, his mouth remains completely shut. He's trying to get some whimsical words out, and to tell us more about those remarkable, money-making, ideas swimming around in his mind. But somehow he can't seem to cut the mustard, and get the words out.

Needless to say, I wasn’t complaining. 

In short, I think he took his meds that day. Whatever medication he's on was too powerful to bother fighting against. Frankly, I don't know if I like him better when he takes his meds or when he's off them. 

The moral of this story is, if you got hot ideas in your head, just do it! Talking to a bunch of homeless person, or “Skeksies," hanging out on a chow line, about it ain’t going to accomplish a goddamned thing.  

Except earn you the reputation of being a bullshit talking, hate to see you walking, mother…

Well, I’m sure you know the rest.

(To be continued...)