His name was Eddie. We met when I moved to NYC and things escalated quickly. We talked almost every day and he soon began staying overnight. We even had nicknames for each other. He lovingly referred to me as “f$cking whore.”
Let me explain. Eddie was the homeless man that lived in the small space between the front door to my building and the locked door that led to the apartments. Each night he set up shop in this super small space and snuggled with the mail boxes (there was an occasion where I found him tucked in with his homeless lady friend, but that my friends is a whole other story). My affectionate nickname for him was homeless man. Hey, I am from the burbs so I never had to deal with things like this before, so cut me some slack!
Homeless man was not your typical homeless man. Whereas others will typically ask for money and call it a day, my homeless man didn't give up there. He liked a good fight. I would often come home after a long day at work and find him drunk and angry sleeping in the stoop .... typical homeless man.
Me: “Homeless man, get up!”
Homeless man: “You’re a f$cking whore! Leave me alone!”
Me: “Uh homeless man, I can’t leave you alone, I need to get into my building!!!! NOW MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!”
My threat was clearly hollow as he had nothing to lose. This was inevitably the point when homeless man would get really angry and try and hit me with his cane. Lucky for me, he was usually too drunk to have any semblance of good aim. When he would refuse to move, I would have to channel my inner Gail Devers (please note, I chose her out of all of the famous hurdlers due to her fly nails, which naturally makes me akin to her) and jump over him. Much like my hurdling counterparts, I needed to ensure that I didn't hit that hurdle (homeless man) or I could fall (potentially touch homeless man …. gross).
There was a rare occasion when homeless man would throw in the towel early, retire the cane as a weapon and instead use it to stand up and leave the stoop area. In these moments, I started to see the softer side of homeless man. But then he’d whip out a “f$cking whore” and I was suddenly thrust back into reality.
The funny thing is, it never bothered me that he called me f$cking whore. In fact, every time he said it, I couldn't help but smirk. I imagine it’s what a parent feels like when their kid says something completely inappropriate but also completely amazing, and even though they’re mad, they can’t help but smile.
My favorite encounter with homeless man was from New Years Eve many years ago. It went as follows:
Me: “Happy New Year homeless man!”
Homeless Man: “Happy New Year you f$cking whore!”
In case it isn't clear, we had a really strong connection ….