Wow, his feet were largely visible because he was wearing slip on shoes of some sort, I can’t remember, but I remember those feet. They were so dry and so dirty, he looked like he was wearing white socks, and he was black.
This is the man I saw on the Pershing Square Red Line platform this morning. The area around Pershing Square was a bit in disarray because of the L.A. version of an OWS march, but it was hardly overwhelming. Los Angeles is a tough city from which to stage a revolution. The Revolution starts here, but that ain’t Los Angeles!
This black man was about 40. He wore an old suit and had long hair. I think he had facial hair. He did not look wild or feral, but he was shuffling around the platform in his old suit and slip on shoes which displayed his putrid looking feet. He kept making a snorting sound. Like a snore but deliberate and more prolonged. It was like he was trying to jar something loose in his nasal passages. It reminded me of the sound a dog makes when its diaphragm is reacting to recently swallowed lawn grass. He was walking around, snorting, and he carried a water bottle that was nearly empty. I stood and untangled my earphones and then saw him head toward my area as he snorted away. I moved. His snorting intimidated me.
As I looked around, I saw several large puddles of watery liquid scattered about the area he was roaming. They weren’t yellow of even that discolored. The water just looked dirty because of the fact that it was sitting on a subway platform floor which is a surface that is inherently filthy. Water cannot touch that without clouding over. The puddles were near columns or other barriers. I was afraid to approach the water. The man with the white socks feet kept shuffling around. He was shuffling, he didn’t pick his feet up. It was like he was sleepwalking and snoring.
A few times I lost sight of him but not before I heard that snorting sound, the unmistakable marker which allowed me to place him in the general vicinity. I heard my train approach and I saw him shuffle to the platform and I decided I would not board the same car as he. There was something animal-like about him. There was a confined wildness about him and his snorting and the odd water puddles that dotted the floor.
As I got on the bus, I checked him and he had returned back to the platform. He was not boarding after all. He still clutched the water bottle and undoubtedly he was returning to the Land of Puddles. I got a ride home tonight, so it’s possible he’s still at Pershing Square doing his thing, I couldn’t say for sure.
Homeless people are mysterious anyways. Each one you see is a puzzle, a riddle. What is their past? Where do they sleep, eat, shit? They are hopeless and they are lost. Who is lost? Are you? If homeless people are so puzzling to you…who is lost? Some of them dance around puddles. Some ooze filth and some look like they haven’t showered for 3 months. Some look normal until they talking.
What do homeless people do when you’re not watching?
Homeless people are like those paintings of people whose eyes follow you everywhere in the room.