02 June, 2009

Even homeless people need lovin'

Summer seems to have really brought out all the crazies in Boston. Their winter ice caves have melted and they have dispersed themselves among us, in the streets, the stores and, of course, the MBTA. Saturday night found me taking the T home from Cambridge with my friends Kathryn and Alex. We had spent the evening drinking at a friend's BBQ, but due to the T sucking ass and closing around midnight we were forced to leave the party early in order to avoid shelling out money we didn't have to an angry cab driver.
And so we walked somewhat drunkenly to the Lechmere T stop where, despite Alex's brief attempt to fight the mechanical T gate, we happily made it onto a train. The three of us sat down together, Kathryn in the middle and Alex and I on either side of her. For a brief period of time, all was great in the world. And then he got on the train.

I think Alex noticed him first, as he later recalled that, "the second I saw that dude I fucking knew he was going to talk to us." He was short and dirty, obviously homeless or very poor, and made no move to hide his insobriety as he stumbled onto the train and practically fell into the seat facing me.
"Hey... you've got nice hair," he slurred, and I looked up at him. "Uh, thanks," I replied. I glanced at his hair. Light brown and gray, dirty and very curly emerging from under a soiled blue Red Sox cap. I turned back to my friends, wrongfully assuming that our chat was over.

"That's a nice shirt you've got, too," he said. I thanked him again without looking up. Kathryn and Alex were giggling at this point while I squirmed awkwardly in my seat and moved closer to them.
"Is that some chest hair sticking out?" he asked, and I looked at him again to see him grinning at me and staring at my chest.
"Uh, no," I said and turned my body away from him and towards Kathryn to block his view. It was then that my good friend Kathryn decided to intervene on my behalf and smash her purse into his wrinkled face while screaming at the drunken fuck to leave me alone. Or so I wanted. Instead, she said, "actually, I make him shave his chest." Alex burst into laughter and I wanted to kill them both.
"Don't fucking encourage him," I tried to quietly scream at her through clenched teeth.
"Looks like a hairy chest to me. Why don't you unbutton that shirt and show me," homeless man said. I quickly buttoned the top collar button on my shirt.

By now everyone around us was paying rapt attention to this conversation. The girl next to homeless man was staring straight at the floor and trying not to laugh, while the girl to my left stared in open enjoyment at the scene before her.
"I make him keep his shirt on while we're on public transportation," Kathryn offered. "Trust me, it's shaved." Finally, some support.
"Heh-heh, what else do you make him shave?" homeless man asked.
"Oh, I make him shave eeeeverythiiiing," Kathryn replied without missing a beat. I don't know how she managed to keep her composure. Alex was about to piss himself, everyone around us was openly laughing and I just wanted to disappear.
"You wanna show me?" homeless man asked hopefully.
"No. Absolutely not. Fuck you, Kathryn," I said.
"I think you and me should get together," homeless man suggested. Apparently I hadn't made it myself clear. I wasn't interested. I put my arm around Kathryn and said, "I don't think my girlfriend would like that very much."
"Oh. Well we could have a threesome," homeless man said with a grin.
"No. I think my friend over here would get jealous," I said while reaching behind Kathryn and grabbing Alex by the shoulder. He stopped laughing momentarily, until homeless man suggested we just go all out and have a foursome together. Alex resumed his fit of giggles while Kathryn declined the offer.

"She's no fun. How 'bout just us men have a threesome then?" homeless man said. This time I burst out laughing while Alex replied with, "nah.. man, no way," and collapsed into laughter once again.
The girl next to homeless man was laughing and typing rapidly on her phone. I can only assume she was texting about the awkward situation going on around her. Homeless man was still staring at me like a piece of meat. By now we had reached Copley Square. When the stop was announced, homeless guy sat up straight and said, "oh shit! I think I missed my stop! Is this North Station?" North Station had been the second stop after Lechmere, and we were pretty sure that's where homeless guy had boarded the train. He jumped up and stumbled towards the door. We all laughed and I was relieved that he had gotten off. I had been somewhat concerned he would get off the train when we did and follow us home.

And then seconds later he was back in his seat. "This wadn't my stop! I'm getting off at Prudential!" homeless man shouted, happy to have figured out where he was. Prudential was one stop away and at least he'd be off the train before we had to get off. He leaned forward and leered at us.
"He's gonna impregnate you," homeless guy stated quite matter of factly while looking at Kathryn. I couldn't look at the guy I was laughing so hard. And also creeped out.
"Mark my words, he's gonna impregnate you tonight!" homeless guy shouted. People not in our immediate vicinity were looking over and laughing now. We finally got to Prudential and the girl next to him reminded him that it was his stop. He once again stumbled on his way off the train, but turned around once more before stepping off to again shout, "he'll impregnate you!"
Nobody could control their laughter at this point, especially when we realized he hadn't walked off but was standing right outside the train window staring in at us and waving, a big toothy grin on his face. Homeless man stood there until the train left. Yet another reason to avoid the MBTA.


  1. Fantastic story. I was cracking up in my cube and forwarded it to several co-workers.

  2. This makes me want to move back to Boston and go out with you every time you go drinking... for even the slightest chance of being around for something like this.

  3. Well, I can promise you that nothing like that will happen anywhere in New Hampshire... both of our homeless people drive dark blue '87 Camrys.

  4. Like this, but blue: http://www.toyoland.com/photos/1987/camry.jpg