Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Little Dignity, Please


by James Jarvis
06/23/2001


I like to keep my crack motel door
wide open at night
to cool off the room
when I'm typing my steamy self-exposés
into my ibook.

Around 1:30 a.m. tonight,
a big drunk
stumbled up to my door
and stuck his head in
like he owned the joint.

"Can I use your restroom?"
he slurred
as he started to step inside.

I jumped up from my kitchenette chair
and charged at him,
blocking him from entering.

"This AIN'T NO
public FREAKIN' RESTROOM here buddy," I said,
"This is my home,"
I yelled at him in my doorway.

"I'll pay you," he said,
looking around in my living room,
poking his head around my shoulder
as if I was just
a minor annoyance,
a temporary obstacle
to his urinary mission.

"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY DOOR!!"
I yelled.

"I just need to use your restroom,"
he said
as if I were being unreasonable.

"MOVE! OUT OF HERE! NOW! GO!"
I commanded.
He stepped back a few feet and stared at me.
"GIT!
GO ON!
GET THE FUCK OFF THE PROPERTY!"
I yelled.
He left.

Now you may think
that since I am homeless 18 months
that my sympathies
would lean towards
letting this guy use my toilet.

On the contrary,
this kind of shit
gives the rest of us homeless people
a bad name.

Never once
in that whole 18 months
did I try to walk into a stranger's house
to use their toilet
in the middle of the night.

Yes, I had to do some disturbing things
when I was homeless,
but I never disturbed anyone
doing those things.

Oh, except that one time
at the VA
when I went in to test their limits
by boldy pissing
on their freshly waxed floor . . .
and, as usual,
they didn't give a damn.

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