e11th st., 1969
The guy was talking to me, at least I thought he
was. Propped against an old, rusted and broken
chain-link fence along a nasty open lot. Children
and others passed amid the broken glass and the
messy debris. The corner of east 11th, and First Ave.
I'd seen him around, often enough - but this looked
bad. Red-rimmed eyes, his belt was open, his nasty
clothes askew : 'First thing I did this morning was
piss all over myself. I thought I had it out, but it
was still in my pants and I couldn't tell, and then
I couldn't stop. Everything hurt. Now I can't get
up, everything's messy, and I think I shit myself
too. Here, can you give me a hand?' I didn't really
want to - to tell the truth - but I did. He struggled
up, only to fall back again against the wobbly fence.
'Oh damn, this day hurts; I got water where my eyes
should be and I hardly can see a thing.' I wondered
what to do, while someone was coming from around
the corner, towards us. She looked official, yet she
walked right by. Then she stopped, and came back.
'You'll please leave him alone. We've called the
ambulance for him, and they're coming, and there
will probably be a policeman too. He cannot stay
here like this any longer. This is a schoolyard.'
I nodded OK, and then said, 'Well, at least can I
wait with him until they get here?' She looked
me over, 'No, you'll have to go, and
please just leave now.'