Friday, July 31, 2009

A Strange Incounter

I meet and interesting person and feel the need to document the following events.

I sat on a bench for four & a half hours yesterday.
At the beginning I was alone. I was uncomfortable alone, so I called Mum. I had recently talked to her, so we didn't have much to talk about, it was an awkward conversation, to say the least. While struggling to make small talk, a man walked up to me.

Unknown-"Can I sit here with you?"
(I am currently sprawled out laying down on 3/4th of this 6 seater bench)
McKenna- "Well I'm saving this for friends."
Unknown-"Well, I'll leave when they come. I'm just really drunk right now and need to sit."
McKenna-" Sure then. I got no problem with that."

I felt safer with my mother still on the line with me. She would know by the sounds of a struggle that there was an issue at hand and my life was in mortal danger and she would be able to call the authorities and save me from a dire situation. She can think on her feet like that.

Right when I got to my coveted bench, I texted my sweet Jillian Boss to let her know I was in town, and had claimed such a prize winning spot. She showed up shortly after to view and enjoy our fantastic plot. (We were saving these for the Sonic Youth concert, we are not huge fans, but it was an adventure and I'm glad we did it.)
We came to know this drunk Vagabond to be "Curtis." He has lived in Kerns for over 2 years and was catching a bus back to Chico, at midnight. His ex-wife and 5 year old boy lives there. Chico is 70 miles south from Sacramento and about 70 miles inland, as well. Curtis said, in a car you can get from Salt Lake City to Rino in 10 hours, and its another 4 from there, to Chico. The Buses ETA was a whole other story.
He was hit in 2000 by a car and needs a new hip. He has not worked for minimum wage for over 9 years. He used to do roofing for 21 bucks a square and it would probably take him roughly 40 minutes to do one. We averaged his hourly rate to be around 30 an hour. He now works at a desk job and quit that same day.
Him and "his woman" got in a fight and he threw her keys on the roof. He was in an inebriated stupor. He has been walking 45 blocks every day since they broke up, he can't do it anymore with his bad leg, so he "bounced". He first moved here because the Woman he was seeing then, wanted to be closer to her kids and 4 grandbabie's. He wanted me to know that he was dating a hot grandma like in the movie 40 Year Old Virgin. They apparently were all "burn outs" and he "had to call things quit with his old lady."
Curtis was a big fan of Zeppelin, Journey, Boston and Floyd. He admitted to liking 90's girl bands aka, the Go Go's and the Cranberries etc. He also reviled that he watches "E!" TV.
He was thrilled to be sitting with Jillian and I, and called us collectively "way badass girls." Glad he took notice. He showed me his new free lighter that didn't work, but it looked nice and he felt he "broke even" receiving such a gift. It was a "Limited Edition Commemorative 2007 Zippo," gun colored metal. What it was comemorating, none of us were positive. He was angry it was 8$ beer night, and went on comparing how much, of an assortment of alcohols, he could have purchased for the same price.
After using the port-o-potties he was utterly astounded that they have a hand sanitized dispenser installed in the plastic restroom. "It's like you never touched anything. Genius!" He disclosed that he bought a butterfly knife just as a "play thing" and his personal motto is, "Lower your standards. Raise your average." We both decide that once he purchases a car that he should get that on his licence plate.

"Aw man, but I just remembered, in the state of California you can only have 7 letters." -Curtis
In all states in the U.S. you can only have 7 letters

Things went on like this for sometime. He sat with us for about 4:45 till 7:15ish. Finally, our friends showed up and he new the score, he mossied on and sat with some "milfs" he was eyeing the whole time. After the first band, Awesome Color, got done (they were awful,) Curtis showed up again and sat with us till 9:40ish. I think he had a crush, and was slightly taken back that we were nice to him and enjoyed his company. By the time we were done, all of our friends new this homeless wanderer, and were all better people because of this fateful crossing of paths.

ps- Sonic Youth was good, I liked the second half of the set better than the first though.

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