Something tells me that if I want to hang out with the homeless I should get use to turnover, whether it be the final kind described here or someone like Jimmy getting pulled into the shelter system because they hit bottom a little too hard or someone like Mike who moved on to Daytona.
May 15, 2012
Wednesday they found Eddie dead on the grounds of the Swimming Hall of Fame. Homeless folks like to sleep out of the way so they do not get harassed. They think Eddie had been dead three to five days so he must have found a good spot. Natural causes, they said.
Eddie was one of the regulars of my homeless crew smack in the middle of the spring break area of Ft Lauderdale but we were not close. Eddie struck me as a mean little weasel of a man and the bottom feeder of the group, though I hear he was also the drug dealer. Never saw him do a deal, maybe because Eddie always suspected I was a cop. Later I heard more than one guy speak very highly of him and especially his sense of humor.
The night I met Eddie was the night I became a favorite of the group by financing a little beer fest. Daniel the alpha male hit me up for a ten for some beers and I said all I had was a twenty and Daniel promised to bring me the change. An hour later long after I knew he would not return he did and gave me my ten in change and handed out the beers but not to Eddie.
Eddie appealed to me as financier but I said I was new to the group and could not intervene like that. But then it was time for me to hit Spazio for dinner and I told Daniel he was a man of his word and gave him the second ten to spend on the guys and I gave Eddie a five so he would not have to grovel. But then he decided I was a cop and kept his distance except for the time it was just the two of us and he started ragging on Daniel who I liked so I just went another way.
Weeks later out of nowhere Eddie asked me for a twenty, promising to pay me back on Tuesday. I knew he knew I had done that for other guys and was just piling on and it was off key because the other guys asked for loans only after we had been chatting amiably for an hour. I thought what the hell I would rather give him a chance and be wrong than not give him a chance so after a pause I gave him a twenty.
Eddie neatly folded the twenty and handed it back to me and spent the next ten minutes thanking me. Had I pulled him from a burning house he would not have thanked me differently. After that we were cool, then Wednesday they found Eddie dead on the grounds of the Swimming Hall of Fame.
And so it goes.