home sweet home.

can you give the guy i just kissed a cigarette? we were outside a bar in manhattan, and the guy she just kissed was homeless. earlier in the night he tried to pass off a bag of plaster as cocaine. later he wanted one hundred dollars to buy pot from up the street. he’d be back in a few minutes, he had to make the deal alone. when no one budged, he renegotiated his terms — he’d put in forty, if someone else would give him sixty. then we would get sixty percent? okay, he said, fifty/fifty, split down the middle. we hung around him long enough (or let him hang around us long enough) that the bouncer thought he was with us. your friend outside is causing trouble.

among his lies were that he was a basketball player, in the nba, and that he lived in paris. he was just in new york briefly, on vacation. he told some people he lived a block away and others that he lived in harlem. for a newport cigarette he will pay ten dollars (so he says), preferring their high nicotine and tar content; he’ll pay nothing for a camel, but will gladly smoke it. he is tall, six foot six or seven.

my friend told me she made out with him thinking he would be satisfied and continue on, leaving us alone. unfortunately girl kisses, even bad ones, act like magnets, with suitors returning again and again to attain the prize, for as long as it’s available. this magnetism probably especially affects homeless men who lean against cars while girls straddle them. it’s not hard to imagine them biting the girl’s bottom lip, bruising it, as if to say, this is my terrain, this is a place i can call home.


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