Tommy The Homeless Guy
He was never actually in Starbucks to begin with, he was on the patio outside, but I guess his salty language got to be too much for some people. They complained to the management and he was promptly ousted faster than a trash can tumbling down the street in a gale force wind.
I’d only spoken with him once before, while waiting for a bus downtown and, having decided to bide the time on that particular patio on a busy Saturday afternoon I found nowhere else to sit but at the table next to his.
I thought, “Well this guy is kind of wacky, but maybe it’ll be interesting,” so I sat down in anticipation that he’d strike up a conversation, which he did after I’d waited approximately 2.4 seconds.
“Nice fuckin’ DAY, eh?” said he.
Like I said, he got booted for his frequent F-bombs, and also probably because he smells like a bucket of rotten skunk shit.
“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome,” I said. “I’m glad it’s finally cooled down.” This was worth mentioning as heat-waves are rare here in San Francisco, but they're not really heat-waves anyway. It had topped about 82 degrees that day. Yikes!
“You evah eat gaytuh?”
It took me a second to figure out that “gaytuh” was “gator.” He went on to explain that he was from “Floriduh, where the gaytuhs is good eatin.”
I said, “No, I don’t think I’ve ever had gator.. unless I thought it was chicken or something and someone was playing a joke on me.”
That was a joke in itself and I admit it was lame, but I quickly realized Tommy the homeless guy had left his sense of humor behind a dumpster somewhere, so it didn’t really matter. He didn’t laugh at anything I said during the entire conversation, which was like hanging out with my high school gym coach all over again, except Tommy didn’t smell like Old Spice.
I missed my old gym teacher.
“Oh man, if you eatin gaytuh you KNOW it! That’s some good eatin theyuh. Dey’s hard ta kill too, but if ya git um unawayus (unawares) yu kin sink dat knife in and slit em from da throat all da way down to da nuts and all dat gut spills out and dey is dead fastuh dan you can count tuh ten.”
I thought it funny that you never hear tough guys talk about bunny rabbits that way. “Dems good eatin if’n you can sneak up behind one and kill it dead.” It’s always crocs, gaytuhs or beahs.
I wanted to ask him if gators really had nuts and I was really curious how you sneak up behind one and catch it unawares, but I didn’t get a chance to ask him about that because a pretty girl walked out of the Starbucks right then.
He abruptly shut-up and watched intently as she crossed the street, latte in hand, and ducked into the art gallery on the opposite corner. This inspired another vivid description from him, but it had nothing to do with reptiles. Instead, it was a loud, brash and awfully uninhibited rant about what he’d like to do to that young lady should he ever catch her in a back alley.
I was growing increasingly thankful that my wife wasn’t with me, not that she’d be shocked or anything, but for her own safety and mine. If he tried to harm her I’d have to try and stop him. I say "try," because Tommy weighs over 300 pounds and stands about 6’4”. He’s a huge, smelly maniac with women and reptile issues.
He bragged about this “bodacious fucking hutch” he’d built over by the medical center about three miles “down yonder,” and how much he missed being able to crawl into it and just get away from civilization because he’d made it virtually invisible, being behind the dumpster the way it was.
His impromptu homestead came to a quick end one day when some staffers from the medical center tried to toss garbage into the dumpster but missed, so it all landed on him instead. He said he stormed into the lobby and threatened to grab the little woman behind the desk and “string her up by her boobies,” which is the point where security came along and informed him that police were on the way.
He seemed to actually be surprised by this. A huge, smelly homeless guy covered in garbage bursts into the lobby and threatens to string up the receptionist behind the counter, and he’s surprised when they call the cops on him.
I didn’t say he was bright.
Of course, this is the same guy who was describing his dumpster estate as if it were a mansion in Pacific Heights.
As I approached the Starbucks patio yesterday, he was standing on the public sidewalk just outside of the waist-high railing, gazing sadly at the plastic chair he’d formerly occupied day after day.
“How ‘bout dem gaytuhs, huh? Dem’s good eatin!” I said, as I came up behind him.
He turned and looked at me with the same expression he must have had on his face when the cops destroyed his beloved dumpster hutch months earlier.
“Dey went and kicked me outta heah man, now wheah I’m gonna go, huh?”
He looked like he was going to cry. First, they had kicked him out of the store and now he couldn't even sit on the patio! I was tempted to invite him to stay with us but then I pictured what my wife would look like wrapped up in plastic bags and stuffed in a freezer, and changed my mind.
“Sorry to hear that, Tommy. You can’t just hang out at that coffeehouse patio across the street?”
“Naw man, dat lady who runs da joint don’t like me none. Said I called her a bitch to her face one day.”
“Hell ya, man.. she didn’t let me use da bathroom ta wash up in, dat bitch. But now dat I called her dat she don’t let me in dere at all and I can’t even go neah da place. Woman is stuck up if ya ask me.”
I hadn’t asked him that.
I offered to get him something from Starbucks, because I’m just friendly like that and I don’t judge anyone and I really didn't want him to sit on me, but he declined and said he was “jist gonna move on, maybe to anuthuh town where da bitches ain’t so stuck up and shit.”
I wished him well. Then I went in and ordered an iced passion tea, which I took back out to the patio and enjoyed along with a nice, peaceful solitude.
A very quiet and peaceful solitude, free of gators.
It was lovely.