Monday, July 11, 2011

Spring is Begging

For most people, spring is heralded by the return of butterflies, blooming of flowers, and warm hum of nature’s activity that accompanies any warm weather. For me, I know when spring has sprung by the sprouting of the homeless on every corner where there might be found a cardboard box or some spare change. Like birds, bums follow the warm weather south for the winter, and back north again in the summer. They both poop in public places and eat garbage, but only the hobos have an offensive smell.

I don’t want to misrepresent myself; I do not hate hobos, but I do have a natural aversion to them, like children to the dark, or socialites to TJ Maxx. Truth be told, I feel guilty looking at them, despite the fact that I can barely scrape together the change to pay for my $175 a month rent and the extra buck or two I need to pay for old food storage to feed myself and my dogs. Any money besides that goes to the Chocolate and Cable Fund, so I can avoid thinking about finding a way to pay for next month’s rent.

Perhaps I only dislike seeing indigents because they remind me of how close I am to falling off the edge. One or two months of few Amazon sales and less temporary office work, and I’d find myself on the street, begging for enough money to buy my schnauzers’ kibble. I really have no idea where I’d go for the winter, especially as I abhor walking.

But possibly my desire to avoid tramps comes only from the slight sense of guilt that grows out of having more than them. They worry about staying warm enough at night and panhandling enough to stay pleasantly buzzed, while I only worry about why my latest issue of vogue is late, and what I can do to keep quail from pecking at my geraniums.

In short, seeing the homeless makes me feel both that I am too privileged, and that I’m not privileged enough. It’s a difficult conundrum that I have only been able to solve through my single status and love of cooking. You see, I can’t possibly eat the four course French meal made to serve six that Mastering the Art of French Cooking directed me in making, and my dogs already have enough kibble, so though I don’t have any spare change, I do have a little extra beef bourguignon that I can share with the spring bums. It’s the least I can do to welcome them back for the season.

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