Today on KFC Radio I addressed my ongoing war with a homeless man by the office. Like all feuds I’m in, the enemy party is completely unaware that they’re even engaged in a battle but it’s very real. You see, like most people I decided that I was going to start my New Year off well. I was going to be happy, feel good about myself, allow excitement into my life, all that shit. But on my first day back, right as I was turning the corner to head into the office, I stumbled upon this bed made at a military level. If this guy could find a quarter he could bounce that thing to the moon off his Cars blanket.
I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, at least not in 2020. Every morning, right before I get to work, I’m feeling great. I basically jog to the office so I have endorphins racing and occasionally some punk rock pumping through my headphones, lifting my spirits with early 2000’s teenage disdain. I should clarify, when I say I jog I mean that I’m out of shape so even a brisk walk in a heavy coat makes me feel like I ran a marathon. The point is that I’m happy until I see this set up. The Chinese folding screen so he can block out the world, the made bed, the pillows, it all screams that this homeless man is better than me. It screams so correctly.
I’ve never seen the man himself, I assume that by the time I stroll into the office he’s already worked out, read the paper, had a coffee, and is off to work making perfect beds at a Sleepy’s showroom. My only salvation is he’s not there to ask me, condescendingly, “Just getting up? I’ve been up since 6″ before listing all he’s accomplished with his day, like fathers do. I’m not sure if I need to fight him or start paying him to stop making his bed, but something has to be done.
The worst thing is I don’t even really have a rebuttal to rub in his face. Yeah, I have a job and a direct deposit paycheck but aside from that he’s got way more going on than me. A roof is really the only thing that separates us and I mean that literally, it’s just a roof. I don’t even have actual walls. One of my walls is a temporary one, the other side of my room is windows and those are open at all times, even in the winter. New York apartments turn the heat on at their pleasure, you have no control over it. It comes on with a noise that sounds like a typewriter is being thrown down the stairs then pumps the kind of uncomfortable heat that women in office buildings dream of. There’s no stopping it so open windows is the only choice.
I’ve always known my room stinks but I didn’t need this homeless guy’s reminder. It’s like having a physical deformity, I’m aware of it and it’s not perfect but it works for me. You think I wasn’t aware that having (literally) 45 pounds of blanket strewn about the bed wasn’t great? You think I didn’t know that having a chart of Narragansett Bay that you meant to hang still resting on the floor, because the last 3+ years have been a little hectic, isn’t great? It’s supposed to be news that the temporary wall that separates my room from the living room, so that when people come home late and turn the lights on the lights in my room go on, sucks? I know. I know all of this and I was fine with it because comfort is overrated. I’ve never “gone to bed” in my life, I just stay awake until my battery runs out and I fall asleep. But I can’t have a homeless guy thumbing his nose at me about it.