Let me tell you about the Stooped Man of Los Angeles.
He is an irregular fixture on a certain public transport vein here in our lovely city by the sea. I would call his presence “rare,” but nevertheless, you can count on seeing him skittering along the rail car when you least desire it (which, considering the deteriorated state of his humanity, is just about always).
Today, he was skittering. Stooped Man.
Hadn’t seen this wretched fuck in quite a while. I secretly rejoiced that he was still alive. If there is anyone who is knocking on death’s doorstep, aka, circling the drain, it is this miscreant. And despite the bluster at the root of my very deranged misanthropy, death is horrible and makes me wan. It dooms my spirit, ya know. If everyone could live forever, I would be happy for what it affords the state of Living as opposed to what it would do for me.
Stooped man bothers the living shit out of me.
He’s one of those people who is ruddy and dark but you don’t know if it’s his genetic heritage speaking, or street grime. People like him live in alleys, in nooks and crannies, at the feet of garbage bins. They are filth, personified. So you cannot take their complexion at skin value. Stooped man is dark, I think; he might be ethnic. Or maybe he’s a white dude who hasn’t taken a shower in 3 years.
Judging by his smell, this is not such a preposterous theory. The stench melange of body odor, sour piss, sour shit, sour sweat, precede him every time he approaches your area; precedes him by days. He make my eyes water. Not just the smell, but the image. Something is beyond wrong with that spine. It is bent at not a 45 degree angle, but maybe something approaching 30, 35, degrees?
It’s horrendous. If he was normal height perhaps it would not be such an atrocity. But in his prime, I suspect Stooped Man was a buckling lad who stood about 5-7, on a good day. With his 32.5 degree Stoop, he rarely approaches anything remotely 5 feet, in real working conditions. He is about as tall as the little ancient Central American and Asian geriatric women cluttering the aisles.
In fact, today, the train was having issues, what’s new, thank you LA Metro, so we were dealing with some serious and inconvenient crowdage.
Filthy fucking people squashed together. It’s my ultimate fate that I, the greatest hater of all mankind, must spend a few hours each day immersed, impaled, upon masses of human layers, smelling, sniveling, coughing, hacking…my fate. So I’m standing there, trying to avoid eyes as much as I can (I’ve written about that here, before), when out of the corner of my downturned eye, I see him. Shuffling along like a despicable scourge.
It’s fucking Stooped Man, cutting his skeletaldebacle figure through the crowd like a hot knife in butter; no one wants to be in his wretched vicinity. He’s panhandling, as always, and his hat, or whatever the hell he uses to collect a so-called living, is empty, of course. He does not arouse much sympathy from the finer class of Los Angeles commuters. He is vile, smelly, and physically repulsive. He’s dark/dirty, skeletally deformed as hell, and he has no regard for personal space. The bastard comes at you and you can’t get away…he’s like a drunken bumblebee that’ll fly into your mouth if you’re not careful.
And there is short me, holding on to the pole with my vertically diminished clearance, the Stooped Man simply passes through my hurdle, swathing me in fumes.
I’ve wondered if Stooped Man is really an illustrious Master of the Universe who’s simply trolling the Los Angeles commuterati.
Just cause he can.