The sun beat down hard as I stood in the chow line - here it is the middle of December and I'm sweatin'. Some black spade - hair a poofy mess, face dirty in the grease, clothes black shiny over the dirt - keeps staring at me with savage yellow eyes - eyes void of life or death or a soul. The sixth tramp bums me for a smoke. Everywhere crowds ragged savage angels.
A dwarf of an Asian woman - her face ravaged by decades of junk howls obscenities to her phantoms - fat Jew hairy and nasty and smelling of decay commands for her to shut up - cigarette swirls in his crusted purple lips. I look up at the sun and I sigh. That is when I hear my name called, makes me cringe. I ignore it. But it is repeated and putting on my Hollywood Mask, I whirl around - big smile.
It is Tim S., an acquaintance of mine from my previous stay at Vinnies before my exile to El Paso. After pleasantries, he confides that he is sleeping in the streets. A month prior he was bunking at Vinnies but lushing pretty hard and one night he came in drunk and violent and was tossed out. He is waiting to get into the Rescue Mission's rehab program. Wow - young and handsome before and now he is falling apart - he looks old and tired.
After lunch, I stand with Raul across from the Neal Good day center. Raul pulls out a joint and shares it with me and then a forty of Bud concealed in his jacket. Guess Raul is taking this street shit serious. We joke and talk among the junkies and crackheads. As a police car drives by with apathy 'Po-po' is muttered by several derelicts.
I walk solo through downtown San Diego and gather my thoughts. Guess it is time to settle down and look for work. Have a few good leads - see where it takes me...