A.C. and the Turkey Sand

A.C., the black homeless guy, was drunk, sitting on the bench in front of the Safeway tonight. Normally, the Big Guy and I don’t go to the Safeway, nor do we go out at night, but my cousin is flying into town tomorrow and she has needs, like junior sized cans of Dr. Pepper and 12 grain bread.

A.C. recognized me as soon as I stepped out of the car. He yelled a question that started with “Can you spare…?” and ended with something unintelligible. The Big Guy walked through the front door of the store, and I went over to A.C.

“I need,” he started.

“No,” I said.

“But why?” he asked.

“You’re drunk,” I said. And this is the part I never get. If I were A.C., I would deny the drunken stupor at this point. I would make up some lie like I had neurological problems, but he doesn’t.

“But I’m hungry,” he said. And when A.C. says hungry he pronounces it hongry. “Can you gimme a…” But before he could finish, I walked off. He knows how I feel about his drunken stupors in my neighborhood.

We found the mini Dr. Peppers, the bread, some M&Ms and then a pre-made turkey sandwich for $4. We also found a fruit punch. A.C. loves fruit punch. Before we paid for his sandwich and punch, I stuck my head out the grocery store’s door to see if he was still on the bench. Some bar fly had wandered over from Soons Lounge, and A.C. was trying to con her out of some coin.

“Hey A.C.,” I yelled, “Is a turkey sand okay?” His face brightened.

The bar fly yelled back, “You can give him money. He shops the…” and she finished up with a mess of words heaped on top of one another that not even her mother could understand. She weaved dangerously too one side, and I assumed she was drunk too.

“I’m not giving him money. He converts it into booze,” I yelled back at her and went back inside. The Big Guy bought A.C. the food, and I took it to him. The bar fly had staggered her toothless self probably back to Soons for shots. I helped A.C. get the plastic off the sandwich and while I was doing that, he hit me up again.

“I need bus fare,” he said.

“I’m sure you do,” I said. “I’m also sure you had bus fare earlier but drank it.”

He nodded or bobbed, hard to tell what he was doing. I left him with a mouthful of turkey sandwich and him yelling, “Hadn’t seen your husband in a long time.”

I yelled back at A.C. as we got in our car, “He’s right here,” but A.C. looked like his eyes were swimming in a sea of 90 proof and couldn’t focus on anything other than turkey and fruit punch.

“Tell him I said, ‘Hi,’” A.C. said. And with that, we drove off.

12 Responses to “A.C. and the Turkey Sand”

  1. Nice offer from you and your husband. I have to admit, I’d never get to know him and wouldn’t have bought the food, but that’s me.

  2. If I had it all to do over, Steve, I would not have gotten to know him either. I’d probably still buy him food when he says he’s hungry, but the neighborhood drunks and drug addicts grow weary on me.

  3. I think I live a sheltered existance! I have to admit that where I live you really don’t see much of that part of life. Now I’m not niave enough to think it doesn’t happen but I suppose that it’s just not as hi-lighted in the smaller counties. Now in London, I had my eyes opened wide! I saw beggers, homeless people sleeping in doorways, prostitutes! I was floored! I remember last Halloween, we went to York for the evening to take part in a Ghost Walk. A young homeless guy approached me and asked me for a ciggerette. He said he could pay for one, he just didn;t have enough money for a pack. I gave him the rest of the packet I had and I shoved a £5 note in it. He said he was very grateful but he didn’t want the money. I told him that it came with the ciggies and to make sure he got some supper. I’m not sure if I helped or offended! I’d do it again though…
    You have a good attitude with AC. No nonsene approach which I think is the best way.

    • I think it all depends on where you live. California is full of homeless because of the good weather and they receive a stipend. There are many of them everywhere here. I’m not sure what helps or hurts any more. Usually I won’t give them money because they buy drugs or booze. I say that but then there is one guy I will give a $1 every time I see him. I can’t say why other than I have never seen him drunk and I think he buys food.

  4. My spelling is terrible… I’ve just re-read this and I don’t think I’ve explained myself very well. I mean I’m not stupid, I know how society is and can be. It’s just that where I am from it just doesn’t seem as prominent. Having said that I am noticing the changes taking place on our streets and in our villages. More kids hanging around and if I ever wanted to buy drugs I now know where to go as I know where they hang out… that scares me more than anything, especially for my kids I suppose.

    • I knew what you meant. I hate to see the kids like this. One of the worst things I ever saw was a drugged out kid inject heroin into her neck while staring at her reflection in a car door. It made me sick to my stomach. The girl couldn’t have been any older than 16.

  5. My comments are getting eatin’ up! I left one and it’s gone 😦 !

    • I’m sorry. I don’t know what is going on. I noticed my comment notation was changed a bit. I swear I haven’t touched the control panel inside here.

  6. AZ it may have been me… I was very hungry when I visited. :o)

  7. Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

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