A couple summers ago, after a day of Coney Island beer-conning and freak staring, I realized I had lost my keys somewhere on the beach. I couldn't call my roommate because it was Friday night and he had recently become a super-orthodox Jew. As such, god would not allow him to answer his cell. I decided to sit at the 24 hour Dunkin' Donuts around the corner and wait for a yarmulke and curly hair to walk by.*
I found myself a table outside, all of the regular players were there.
The Vampire- This guy with white skin and long dark hair who argued with people. He was ALWAYS there, especially at night, and would be considered homeless except that he always had enough money to buy a coffee and setup shop.
Sad Girl - She technically worked there except she never once served me. She usually just stood outside and smoked and wore dark eyeliner and never smiled. She had a nicer phone than I did. I used to be jealous of her until I caught her out of her uniform one day and she was wearing a one-piece denim jumpsuit. Caught me totally by surprise.
Fatty Watch Checker - This guy sat at a table inside and stared at his watch like he was waiting for someone to come or something to do. Of course, this was just for show. He was just a fat guy in a donut shop.
Biker Chick - She looked like Emily from the original 90210. She wore a purple eyeshadow, I owned the same color but was too embarrassed to wear it.
A man came up to me.
Man: Will you keep an eye on my baby carriage?I looked. He was indeed pushing a baby carriage.
Me: I think you should probably take your baby with you inside to buy donuts.The man pushed his carriage next to me and walked away. He did not go into the Dunkin Donuts but instead walked completely out of my sight. He left to die, and I was now responsible for a stroller.
Man: Nah, I don't have a baby in there, just my stuff. It will only be a second.
He came back ten minutes later.
Man: Thanks for taking care of this for meOh. He was homeless. And kind of cute. That summer was marked by desperation for men. I always made excuses for them like, he's homeless, isn't that exciting? I love to travel. He's a magician? Hot. I bet when he ejaculates he just keeps coming and coming in different colors, like they do with scarves.
Me: Sure. Why do you have a baby carriage?
Man: It's where I keep my stuff. Cops are less likely to harass me when I'm pushing it around.
Me: Good idea.
Man: I have something for you, for doing me a favor.The man started fishing around in his baby carriage. He pulled out what looked like a baby wrapped in paper.
Me: Oh, no. That's unnecessary.
Man: Just wait a second.
Man: Here. Try this. It's a sandwich, it's delicious.It was true. I was locked out of my house, so for the time being a was technically homeless. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I took his charity. Plus, it looked kind of good. I wanted to eat the sandwich.
Me: No, thanks.
Man: No, its really good. Au Bon Pain gives them to me when they can't sell them at the end of they day. I love these things.
Me: No, thanks I'm fine. You keep it.
Man: I have a million of them. I want you to have it for doing me a favor. Besides, you're stuck out here at night, too.
I didn't want the homeless man or any of the other freaks to see me eat it, though. I had my dignity to preserve. I excused myself from the Dunkin Donuts and went to wait for my Jew-mate on our stoop. I sat in the darkness and unwrapped the sandwich. The bread was soggy from the wilted lettuce, vegetable condensation, and vinegar dressing. The cheese was age-melted. I huddled over myself as I ate so that no one would be able to see my homeless sandwich. When people passed by me on the street I jolted up and gave them a guilty look as though I was filming child pornography. The sandwich wasn't good, but it got better, and then worse again by the time I finished it and hid the wrapper in my purse.
My roommate came home, let me in, and asked me to turn the lights on and off for him because god wouldn't let him do it himself. Gross.