Then one night, it began to rain. Shimmering hissing sheets poured out of the black sky. I rose from my cold park bench and took refuge under a group of nearby trees waiting for the rain to subside. It did for a bit. But, as I lay back down on the bench, the drizzle began again. I resolved to make my way to the museums for some vague hope of an overhang.
Trudging across the Laurel St. Bridge, I found a small encampment of hobos. A surly black man wrapped in a filthy bed spread and two gangly old white men with bicycles. Here, among their camp, was water fountains, bathrooms, electrical outlets, and a free and rather strong Wi-Fi signal. A prime spot in contrast to the hicks were I camped. I inquired if it were safe from the cops and the black man belched, “Yeah. It’s okay. Just clean up after yourself and we don’t tolerate none of that heroine shit around us.”
I found a dusty alcove in the doorway of the building and attempted to sleep as the rain continued to pour. Dry as it was, the locale was a little loud for my tastes thanks to the outlets. Several radios blasted dreadful rap music all night and vendors of various narcotics whizzed in and out on bicycles continuously. I slept little.
Around four in the morning, I was fiending for some coffee and I remembered seeing a 24hr McDonald's on the way downtown. Making my way toward it only to find, to my dismay, it opened at five. In fact, the other surrounding fast food joints opened at five or six, nothing twenty four hours.
As I stood waiting, I met a wizened crazy lady pushing a shopping cart. Nuttier that squirrel shit but so damn happy about everything. No matter how many times I told her my name, she called me "Kitty Capone". She seriously stated that she was the CEO of McDonald's and the Ronald McDonald AKA The Elephant Man had killed her in her sleep. I told her she was doing all right for a zombie. She smiled, agreed, and thanked cryogenics for that. Well, at least the coffee was good.