A. C. and his Rent

I was waiting on the crazy 57 bus down in the burg today. It was misting rain, and I had been hiding under the bus shelter, but so was everyone else. It was all too close for comfort. I decided I’d rather stand in the mist with my hood up, as if that would protect my whole body from the drizzle. I kept willing the bus to come down the street, but instead, A.C., the homeless drunk guy, showed up. I asked him if I could take a picture of him.

“What’d you want to do that for?” he asked.

“In case you disappear,” I said. “I can show the cops.” He laughed and posed. I took two shots. After I was finished I asked him, “How come you’re not asking me for money?”

“You know why,” he said, turning to walk off.

“You’re gonna go buy booze,” I said.

“It ain’t booze,” he said. “It’s beer.”

He was already drunk, but sober enough to know I wouldn’t give him cash to buy liquor. I walked with him a few feet, keeping one eye on the street for my MIA bus. A.C. looked cleaner that usual.

“You got a place to stay?” I asked.

He stopped walking and leaned on his cane. “O’er on 78th, or 87th,” he said.

“You like it?” I asked.

He shook his head. “I gots to pay money for this room,” he said.

“What kind of room?”

“A room to sleep in,” he continued. “But they want my check.”

“Yeah, that’s called rent,” I said.

A.C. laughed really hard at that, and he walked on down the street toward the corner market.


6 Responses to “A. C. and his Rent”

  1. He looks like Samuel L. Jackson. I like your reply to why you want to take a photo.

  2. He does look like Samuel today, but tomorrow he will cut all his hair off and find some other clothes.

  3. Here’s hoping you never have to use that picture to identify him.

    • Sooner or later it will come to that. All the street people, particularly the alcoholic homeless, die a miserable death.

  4. I liked this. Thanks.

    What AZ said.

    • Sooner or later A.C. will disappear or get killed. That is the way of the street people. He is the longest surviving of the ones I know.

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