Cement makes a crappy bed but at least it's a dry crappy bed. Benny told me he was leaving, taking the bus back to whatever shit-hole place he came from, and said I’d better move to his spot quick before someone else took it. He was right. Since I’ve been trying to get settled here with my stuff, three of those idiots from the Aston Hotel have come down the street and given me dirty looks. They must have heard Benny was gone – not like he’s usually gone – gone as in actually left town. And you know what? I’m going to miss him. For all the junk he shoots, Benny’s one of the few guys down here you can actually have a conversation with. I’m glad I met him. He told me about the free meals at the hall on 27th. The food there is pretty good, always hot, and they give you apples when you leave for the night. At first I thought it was a stupid joke “yeah, I’ll take an apple” like I’m a kid or something, but man, two in the morning I remembered I had it in my pack, it was like manna from goddamn heaven.
Benny always let me talk. That’s what I’ll miss. Who else am I gonna talk to? Easter? She’s a good woman but most of the time she’s tweakin’. Last night, when I was setting up camp here, she went by almost on her hands and knees looking for coke in the white flecks on the sidewalk. No, it's not there, don’t get your hopes up. She just sees it there, there and everywhere, when she’s tweakin.
I’ve been sleeping in this spot for a couple of nights, well, a couple of days and nights. What the hell do I need to move around for? I’m out of the way, around a corner, it’s covered. It’s like the fuckin’ Plaza compared to my old spot.
I got lucky this morning – some news guy – reporter? - shit I don’t know - anyways, some guy came by with a camera and wanted to ask me questions. Same old stuff, they never get tired of asking it. But since Benny’s gone, I didn’t mind talking. Where am I from? If only you knew buddy, if only you knew. I’m from thirty blocks and two lifetimes away, that's where I’m from. How did this happen to me? Look asshole, it could happen to you too. Sure you can have the story you’re looking for – my dad beat the crap out of my mom, my brother, and then came looking to beat the crap out of me. He didn’t think I’d fight back. When I did, he threw me out of the house. Well, he tried to throw me out. It didn’t work. I walked out. I took my hockey bag, filled it with my stuff and I walked out. Cool as anything. Not one goddamn look back. I knew my dad didn’t care but I knew my mom would be watching. Shit, she probably stood at the gate watching me walk down the entire ten blocks before I turned off. I turned the corner, man, and made a right, straight into hell.