Just the other day I left my gym bag in a stairwell. I was going to sleep there for the night, and I didn’t want to lug my gym bag around while I got shit-faced drunk in Koreatown (everyone has a right to alcohol) so I just left it in plain sight. I figured no one would touch it, but I even left my name and phone number incase.
Of course, I got back that night… and someone touched it. Worse yet, I could imagine them now assuming my identity –wearing the 12 pieces of underwear I had, 6 pairs of socks, a few of my favorite button downs, some neutral colored pants, and my external hard drive.
My fault for carrying the external hard drive. But still –we’re talking countless hours of future entertainment for my future self (not porn –sicko). There’s a lot of angsty journal writing and pictures on that drive. So whoever has it, please value the sanctity of my brain and don’t violate all my deepest, darkest memories. Or do and then make me into a meme. Either way, enjoy the clothes.
That was a rough night, knowing that humans could be so cruel. You see, people don’t care about you, and that’s a great first realization when you’re first growing up. It’s like getting the magical I don’t give a fuck card and tossing it at everyone because you realize they couldn’t care less.
But then later when you’re 40 and alone or some other trope cliche about never finding the love of your life, that’s when you realize… you wish someone did give a damn about you. Of course, not all those bad things about you, but come on, at least care about something. That would feel good, and I’ll even buy you flowers in exchange.
Well, there was no one giving me flowers this morning. But there was a semi-elderly looking woman that walked up to me in a proposed panic. She started talking about how her grandmother was having a heart attack in the hospital, how she needed to drive home, how she just happened to have no gas in her car, just happened to not have any money on her, and just happened to choose to talk to me.
Now let me get this straight –what if she is telling the truth? But don’t you see, that’s exactly what they want you to think! Don’t do it man! Fight the system! Power to the people! Fuck manners!
Anyways, I’m talking to this lady. She wants me to feel bad for her, she walked straight up to me. Why? Because I have the babiest baby face ever. And when you have that going for you and small hands well… it makes you look real innocent, real approachable, and real easy to take advantage of.
Ahem –thanks to you lady, all nice guys are forever jaded at their lives.
“Sir please, I’m putting my pride down… look I’m having a panic attack. I just –can you help me?”
“How can I help?” I raise my eyebrows.
“I just need some mon–”
“Sir, don’t distance yourself from me. Look, I’ll pay you back, I just need -”
She takes a step back, “$80.”
“I can’t help you,” I begin walking away.
She begins walking with me, “Oh but please sir, anything! Anything!”
I stop walking, it’s a long walk to campus… she’ll walk the whole way with me! She’ll actually walk the whole –fuck this. I reach into my left pocket where my makeshift wallet is (a piece of cardboard and a rubber band holding my debit card and some dollar bills) and take out the dollar bills.
I look at her, “Here,” and hand her about 4 dollars.
“Thank you sir, ” her voice is clear, apparently devoid of any panic from getting four dollars.
I nod my head and walk away.
I think about what just happened. I like homeless people more than that lady. At least they are straightforward. They ask for your money, and if you say no, they leave and ask someone else. It’s honest. Yet here was this lady, posing as someone who was really in need, in trouble, and it was all a con to her.
Yet at the same time I couldn’t fault her. It was a convincing show, and she did put away something to act like that. Maybe not pride, but that’s not something everyone would do.
A person from a group of six calls out to me.
“Hey! Hey you!” he’s holding an iPhone in his hand.
“Yah yah, I gotchu,” I say.
I take a couple photos as they pose in front of the newly constructed building at UCLA on Westwood Boulevard.