Friday, November 2, 2012
The Homeless Whisperer
I am sure you have heard of the ‘Horse Whisperer’ and the ‘Dog Whisperer’, but ‘Homeless Whisperer?’ Yup, only Erin. It is always weird in LA when you see someone you know in an obscure place (it has happened to me countless of times) solidifying the saying, “it is such a small world.” But when you have seen more than a handful of homeless people in different parts of the cities, a few years apart in some cases, you start to wonder what the heck is going on.
About five years ago, I worked at Peet’s Coffee on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood and a homeless man by the name of Michael used to come in all the time for some water and an occasional cup of coffee. He was very nice and always talked to the staff, so I never forgot him. Cut to 2012, and I find myself working in Westwood near UCLA. For those non-LA’ers, it’s not very close to Hollywood (especially if you are pushing a shopping cart). One day, I see Michael in the village walking around with his cart, whistling away. I felt like I saw an old buddy and I think I waved. He looked at me like I was crazy, and that says a lot coming from a homeless person.
Earlier this year, there was a homeless person that used to hang out near the library next to my office building toting around more luggage than even a regular person has belongings. Seriously- this lady had about twenty five rolling suit cases lined up along Glendon Ave. It looked like a Samsonite convention! I would see her every day when I drove to work; sometimes she would be in a trash bag dress, other times in a bright pink sweat suit. But I was never surprised to see her plentiful outfits considering how much baggage she had. One day, out of the blue, her and all her stuff were gone. Odd. Very odd. Did she move during the night? Did someone abduct her? Was she a figment of my imagination? I was worried for about a week and then I moved on with my life. A few months later I was walking on Pico Blvd (about 3 miles from where she used to reside) when I saw her on the sidewalk waiting for the bus! I smiled (knowing she wasn’t abducted) then went on to ponder how the hell she moved all her stuff!
My last repeat sighting just occurred this week. A few days before Halloween, I saw this guy wearing a SpongeBob Square pants outfit on Wilshire Blvd close to my office building and I assumed it was a Halloween costume. I think I even beeped and gave him a “thumbs up.” It was rather hilarious. It was hilarious that is until I saw the same exact guy in the same exact SpongeBob Square pants outfit in Culver City a few days after Halloween, sitting on the sidewalk looking very homeless. Should I have my own show on TLC? Move over Long Island Medium, here comes Los Angeles Homeless Whisperer.