10 Reasons I am the Weirdo According to my Homeless Friends

It turns out that I am the “crazy guy on the streets.” These 10 reasons point out why I am the weirdo according to my homeless friends.

1. “What don’t you eat meat? What in Jesus’ name is wrong with you, boy!?

Every time I ask for no meat at the shelters I cause a big stir. I also search out healthy food which is not easy to come by. 

2. “What size shoe are you?” I’m usually walking around barefoot. I’ve had about 10 homeless people offer me shoes and a few dozen ask me about my bare feet. I got Phil to walk barefoot with me when he was looking to buy a joint with the last $2 to his name. 

3. “It’s the crazy naked guy!” I’m often bare-chested and in shorts while everyone else is in jackets and long pants. This has resulted in a handful of men thinking that I’m gay and I’m starting to feel that I might be a target for some of them. Last night I hid out in the park just in case any of them were on the prowl.

4. I have no money. It turns out most of the homeless get money from government programs such as disability, social security, and food stamps. All the necessities such as food, water, clothing, and blankets are quite easy to come by down here for free, so most of the money flowing around (which is a fair amount) is spent on cigarettes, alcohol, and other items that we waste money on here in the United States. 

5. I don’t have a cell phone. Here I was thinking that if I wanted to have a somewhat authentic experience on the streets I had to come penniless and without a phone but I’ve made myself the minority by doing so.

6. “Hey man, you got any cigarettes?” I don’t smoke cigarettes. Cigarette is possibly the most commonly used noun I’ve heard over the last 5 days.

7. “Praise be the all mighty!” I don’t fear or praise god. God and Jesus are likely the most commonly used proper nouns on these streets. I am in a Christian world here. 

8. I swim in the ocean. It turns out not many people down here bare the cold and use nature as a place to freshen up. 

9. I pick up trash. (On a side note, a majority of the trash on the streets down here seems to be from “drive by’s” or “public feedings.” This is when people come feed the homeless.)

10. People look at me and instantly know that I haven’t been on the streets long. It’s the smile that gives it way. Teeth don’t seem to stay white for too long on the streets.

I poke fun at all these little differences but mostly because they are hilarious and interesting to me. I actually notice more similarities to everyone I’ve met and the differences are minor in the grand scheme. I have made many friends and not a single enemy (people have threatened to kill me but I think they were mostly joking). Not a soul has offended me nor do I think I have offended them (except for the few that think everyone is out to get them). I feel very comfortable out here and have very rarely felt more liberated than I have in the last few days. I’ve also realized that most of the issues I see down here are the same issues that exist in the communities of people living in homes. 

Needless to say, I think I have been quite noticed down here. However safe I feel, I also fear sleeping each night and sense the weight of a ticking time bomb hovering over me. With all the drugs, mental instabilities, and exposure on the streets, the reality is that it is only a matter of time before I am raped by a man or beaten for no good reason. It would take some seriously bad luck for that to happen in the short week I’m out here, but there is no way in heck that I’m going to over-stay my week on the streets.