Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Better Class of Homeless Walks Sunset Boulevard Today, Using Suitcases not grocery carts to carry all their belongings

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One woman pulled two behind her, head down, beelining up the sidewalk. A mom and daughter not making eye contact with anyone each pulled a suitcase behind them. A man stood outside the Hollywood Dive Motel, fresh showered, half dressed, the handle of his suitcase on wheels in his fist. He looked up and down the boulevard, the look on his face said where do I go from here, then he took off walking, wandering aimlessly.

Suitcases.

Homeless people are pulling suitcases today, not the tacky grocery carts of last year. Today’s savvy L.A. homeless gal is pulling a faux Samsonite on wheels as she walks up and down Sunset Boulevard, looking for a place to wait out the night. No doubt it’s a sign that a better class of people is taking to the streets now than the grocery cart pushing tramps of the last couple decades.

Today homeless people have style. I lingered last night outside after the dark came, a time when usually I’m hunkered in my apartment in East Hollywood with booby traps set at the door and underneath the windows. If anyone tries to break in my home, they'll make so much racket, they’ll have to run off, that's my home security system.

Last night I decided to observe this new phenomenon of homeless people pulling suitcases with all their belongings in them instead of those shabby grocery carts we all have gotten so tired of seeing.

A woman stopped in front of the 99 Cent Store, dropped her pink flowered suitcase, stepped off the curb into the street, pulled her skirt up to below her knees, bent her legs, and urinated. I thought how considerate of her to step over to a place where the pee would go down a gutter and drain out to the ocean, instead of leaving it just in a puddle on the sidewalk like those guys who push the grocery carts do.

An approaching car on Sunset Boulevard honked at her to get out of the parking lane, it says no stopping 4 to 7 PM, but she couldn't move because the stream of liquid had not finished pouring out from between her legs onto the asphalt. Other than that no one reacted.

Homeless people stopping to pee and poop on the sidewalk is an ordinary thing to see on L.A. streets.

Pulling suitcases on wheels is the new trend!

The elegant peeing lady wore a bright pink ensemble from head to toe, including the pink flowered suitcase on wheels she pulled and the pink scarf wrapped tight around her head, doubtless to keep the lice from jumping out onto the heads of passers by.

Again, what a considerate homeless woman.

Her entire color coordinated ensemble worked so well, and she retained an air of dignity as she returned to her suitcase, pulled out tissue, reached up and wiped herself, then deposited the tissue in a nearby trash bin.

It’s nice to see the homeless starting to take better care of themselves, and I'm glad they are finally giving up the rattling shopping carts for these much more civilized rolling suitcases. It makes them look less. . . Homeless. Much more acceptable to the rest of us here on Sunset Boulevard in the 5600 block.

Leaning on a parking meter, I watched another glorious sunset, last night, then when I noticed there were more a lot more people out promenading than usual, I was glad to see it at first, my tunnel vision can be so bad. My first thought was, wow, a promenade. L.A. people are finally getting out of their cars and walking, becoming ambulatory…

It’s just a better class of people are becoming homeless today. Their last grasp of dignity is the suitcase versus the grocery cart. The suitcase means you still have a hairline connection with civilized life. You still sleep at least a few nights a week in a motel, your belongings are still folded and clean as you carry them with you everywhere you go. You're not down to the plastic bags of mildew covered treasures the hard core homeless guys carry around in their grocery carts. The new homeless would never even think of stealing a grocery cart, they can still purchase a suitcase, albeit flimsy and cheap, but it’s still a suitcase.

The mom and daughter were heading towards a shelter I know of for women and children. My own daughter and I stayed there 11 months in 2004, hope they could still get in that late. The mom gestured to walk faster, the girl's ponytail flew back and forth, she kept looking back. They were trying to get away from the lady in pink, who at first seemed to be with them. All around me, everywhere I looked last night, I saw clean working class people pulling suitcases after them on the sidewalks.

At least in L.A. you finally see other people when you take a walk. Used to be everybody in this town had a car, now. . .

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