There is a homeless man who lives on my street (go 83rd!). I like to say “home-free” - homeless is such a label. Lets name him Scotch.
Scotch & I have been watching each other for about 2 years now. He used to sleep in the doorway of my building. The new girls on my floor weren’t keen with that idea, and they would always call the cops on him. I never thought there was any need to call the cops – he was wasn’t really doing harm.
I leave the building before him, and would always politely hold my breath, and step over him on my way out the door.
Now he sleeps on the church steps next door.
The old Scotch used to fumble on the streets of the Upper East, totally wasted in his free time. He could barely walk, and would just mumbling and tripping around.
I wrote him off as a lost cause.
However, about 3 months ago I noticed that it had been a while since I had seen Scotch tripping around 83rd st. It seemed as though he was keeping a rather healthy sleep schedule. In fact, I noticed that he was going to bed rather early in my opinion. Some nights, on my way home, I would see him setting up his bed on the church stoop around 5pm.
In the mornings when I leave for work at 6:30am – he is typically awake, patting his hair, and brushing off his clothes. He would always look at me, and I him – but we never spoke. Not even when I had to step over him in his early days of being home-free.
One month ago, he finally spoke to me. I was walking to work and he cheered: “HAVE A GOOD DAY!”
I was stunned. I shouted back over my shoulder “YOU TOO!”
I thought about how it seemed that Scotch was getting better in a way. I hadn’t seen him drunk in a while, & his clothes were changing.
The next day, I noticed that someone had left Scotch a bag of banana’s & other fruits where his bed typically lays. I thought this was cool, because Scotch never once begged for money. I was also kind of jealous – was Scotch making other friends?
Yesterday as I was walking around I actually saw Scotch talking to some of the video store clerks at The VideoRoom (that didn’t hire me!) He was just hanging out chilling with the smart film-buffs.
Two mornings ago, he was sleeping with a walkman and a bag of clothing beside him. Strange, because he never carried anything with him.
Lastly, the other day I was home during lunch. I walked by Scotch and he was actually reading a tech magazine like WIRED. I actually did a double-take.
I am starting to think that maybe Scotch has been recovering from a coma for the past 2 years. Maybe he was released early from some kind of accident, and has been slowly recovering - hence all the sleeping?
I know one thing for sure. If he gets that position as movie clerk at The VideoRoom – there is going to be hell to pay ol' Scotchy.