Thursday, June 3, 2010
Loitering on the Street Corner
We stepped off the bus onto the street corner with some colorful characters. There was a long-haired hippie with a guitfiddle (Jerry's name for guitar) who immediately caught Jerry's interest. He always had a magnetic compass for finding kindred spirits and a few tokes of a joint. We stood on the corner "loitering" under the glaring street lights. Jerry convinced the long-hair to let him play his guitar, and I shivered as the night surrounded us with questions. I'd never heard the word "loitering" before. I never had occasion to. As the night went on, someone warned us to move on or we'd get in trouble for loitering. I couldn't understand why. All we were doing was standing there on the sidewalk. Jerry asked the long-hair if we could crash with him for the night. He reluctantly agreed. We followed him to his apartment. We sat around the living room, Jerry smoking joint after joint with the long hair and his roommates. As the roommates stumbled down the hall to bed, the long hair mumbled that we could sleep on the living room floor. It was still chilly at night so I urged Jerry to ask if he had an extra blanket. He grudgingly brought out a sheet. In the morning, I again urged Jerry to ask if we could take showers. He warned us that the bathroom was a bit messy. That was an understatement. I gingerly stepped over, around and between dropped clothes. Stepping into the grungy shower, I spied something black on the wall--a glob of someone's hair. I hoped it wasn't pubic. Unused to life on the road, I think I was beginning to miss the comforts of home.