Babysitting with the Big Bad Wolf

June 8, 2013 at 11:00 am (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

Teeming Masses

Teeming Masses

During the summer, there is a shindig of some sort happening every weekend in the city of Portland. Some more well-attended than others; a recent event at Pioneer Square drew this wild crowd:

Then there are other events, the kind everyone shows up for, like the Grand Floral Parade.

I was working the usual Friday night shift, with Dino as my assistant. Sometimes help is appreciated, but often it’s more of a hindrance. I hate having to look busy in front of other co-workers. It cuts into my already limited reading time.

Dino isn’t so bad. He’s about my age, in years and spirit. His mom named her strip joint after him, back in the day. (“Where strippers go to die?” “Yes, I’ve heard *that* one a thousand times…”) He’s mastering the art of snark, and his one-liners are giving mine a run for the money. So we have a laugh as we tolerate the masses.

Most years I fucking hate the parade. This year I got nothing but love…

The day started pretty good. “Can I come over early in the morning? I mean early? Like 7:30? That way you can take a nap after…”

Rain was giving me the bootycall, in person, as I prepared to leave work for the night. We agreed morning would be best, as Parade Night is one of the Nightclub Store’s busiest. I was excited for this to happen, in more ways than one, and agreed to get up in the middle of my night. When Rain gives me that smile…

Of course, I awoke at the crack of 6:30, having been asleep two hours. I shaved and showered, oh yeah, brush your fucking teeth, guttermouth, what the hell am I doing up oh yeah. I sat in front of the computer screen, smoked a couple things, decided it was time to catch a quick nap. 10:30. I have an hour.

Scratch-scratch-scratch on my window screen.

“Is that you, Innie?”

“You expecting someone else, Casanova?” It was my Innie.

I opened the door. “Wow.”

Rain was wearing a sweater, or a mini-dress, or some hybrid crocheted combination of the two, and not much else. “Oh my, you are just stunning.”

We didn’t spend a lot of time warming up, it was already pretty warm in my room. I kissed her goodbye, and watched her naughty little wiggle. I’ve said it a million times, I hate to see her go, but I love to watch her walk away.

I ran errands for Meg, pre-work, and checked my watch. It’s Friday? Well I’ll be damned. The carnival appeared abandoned. As I passed through the mall and emerged on the other side, I saw the rows of tents. Right 2 Dream 2 was staging its protest all along my street. At least the homeless know how to camp inner-city style. They were staging a cook-out on the steps of the mail-order medical school.

Dino being content to read celebrity gossip magazines, I busied myself making sure money was in its place, right denominations, etc… Did the bank run, moved some things for Dr T. I gave Dino a smoke break and took over the till.

As I chatted up a customer, likely a hot female because I don’t waste that kind of energy on a dude, I kept hearing a black male voice chiming in, “Hey, hey you. Hey baby. C’mon, look over here, don’t be a hater..”

I rolled my eyes and looked to the source. I saw Rain’s eyes peeking over the counter. My customer must have been in on it, or at least a willing co-conspirator. “You just let me keep going on and on like that?…”

“I thought you were some guy outside.”

Dino returned to the counter. “Got this?” I asked him. “I need to talk to her.”

We walked to the back of the store, to escape prying ears and eyes. That damned dress was working on me again. “I have to pee,” said Rain.

I looked to Dino, who was busy describing the many types of lottery available to ignorant tourists. I put Rain in front of me, blocking his line of vision, and marched her into the bathroom.

We’ve been together long enough that we’re no longer shy about bodily functions. We had a nice quiet chat as she did her thing. She stood up, then began looking for something in her purse. That required her bending over in front of me.

In that short crocheted mini-sweater-dress. Oh my god. Again. Instead of painting a long, Penthouse Letters-worthy description, I will just transcribe the dialogue:

Rain: “Hey, what are you doing back there?”

Me: “Admiring the view. Pleasuring myself…”

Rain: “Hey! Get outta there! Hey! Boy! What you doing?…”

Me: “Heh.”

Rain: “Well, don’t leave a mess. Don’t get it on me. Aim it-”

Me: “Sorry. Hold still…”

Rain: “Are you kidding me? You dirty old man…”

You get the idea. I got a quizzical look from Dino, and then he shut up, like a good little soldier. I got busy doing some actual work, and Rain said she’d see me after lunch. “Since that snack oughta hold you over…” She gave me that smile she only breaks out on occasion…

*** *** ***

Lock John

Lock John

Anyone who has spent time downtown knows the panhandler scene. Clumps of Dirt Urchins and Garbage Pail Kids, whiny rheumy-eyed junkies, the never-stops-scratching tweaker-types. Occasionally you even see the old-school wino, but not so much anymore. The old winos have too much pride to grovel for change.

I have to admit, I find it highly hypocritical that citizens can take over the sidewalks to camp for a parade, yet a guy in a sleeping bag trying to get four hours uninterrupted is a menace to society. The homeless fare the worst on nights like this, and I find myself getting pissed at the folks I call neighbors. The ones who mock downtown culture, and complain because cigarettes “are a buck cheaper at the gook store in my neighborhood and you can’t get a forty of 211!” They come, trash the neighborhood, throw up all over, pee in doorways and do all the things the regular homeless have to do EVERY FUCKING DAY. So when I found out the tents were going to the people who usually have to scramble for a doorway or sleep under a bench?

Fuck yeah, count me in!

Rain came back, excited. “I have a tent! I’m going to find my friend Dee Dee. If she won’t stay with me, you wanna? You gotta work tomorrow?”

“Shit. Yeah. I’ll stay with you anyway. Got a sleeping bag?”

“No, I gave it to someone who needed it. I sleep inside most nights. That’s why I’m looking for Dee Dee…”

She told me which tent was hers, and I promised to look in on her. An hour or so later I wandered up, looked inside. Her name was on the flap, but there was nothing inside. I scratched a quick note, “Hi Innie! I’mma lubba lubba lubba yew! –Outie <3" and tossed it onto the tent floor.

"MAY I HELP YOU?" A dude standing on a chair was addressing me.

"Nah, I'm good. Just looking for my girlfriend. Her name is Rain, and this is supposed to be her tent."

"Oh, okay, as long as you know who you're looking for." The homeless take their security as seriously as Pioneer Place Mall does. It's harder for them to replace things.

I walked along the way. I saw Rain's old running buddy, and gave her a big hug. We caught up, and I told her I'd send Rain her way. Back to work.

Instead of washing off the sidewalk or hassling panhandlers, we decided to give everyone not being belligerent a pass. I was amazed at the respect given the front of the store. They gave us plenty of walk-up space, left room for privacy by the payphone, and came along to pick up litter every few minutes. I was pleased as punch that I didn't have to be a grinch. I'd gotten laid twice already today, I just want to stand here and smile my dumbass grin.

I took over for a second while Dino ran to the bathroom. Dennis, one of our regulars, was standing by the porno rack. He took a step, and I instinctively gave him the "Yeah fuckface, I'm watching you" look. "Oh, hi Dennis, why you sneaking up on the porn?"

"What ya gonna do about it?"

I announced to the line in my best Buffalo Bill voice, “He puts the lotions on his skin, or else he gets the hose again!” It brought the house down, just as Dino returned. He instinctively checked his zipper.

The night wound down. The Professor showed up for graveyard shift. Rain and Dee Dee came by to tell me goodnight. I gave them coffee and a few empty cups, for various reasons. My co-workers conferred and motioned me over. I went back to Rain and Dee Dee. “They said it’s okay, just for tonight, for you to come use the bathroom. Don’t tell your friends, and ONLY YOU.”

“I already know, baby.” Rain kissed me. “I’m going to the tent now. Stop by if ya got time.”

I’d make time.

I could see her chatting up some stranger as I walked up behind. I winked at Dee Dee. “Little pig, little pig, let me in, or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll B-B-B-blow your house down!”

She twirled as my hand touched her bootylicious behind. Ire diminished, she hugged me. “Man, I’m seeing everybody tonight!” We chatted for a second, then she recognized a young homeless mother. She’s always taken them under her wing. “You know I gotta talk to her, babe.”

“I will see you tomorrow. I know you’re okay tonight, I can sleep easy.” I kissed her on the lips and made my way home.

Now I’m watching the parade on TV. Rain is back to being homeless, along with all the other denizens I share the night with. I will go down to clean up after, and we’ll be back to bouncing drunks and dealing with the more typical day-to-day amusements and ordeals.

It’s going to be hard to top yesterday, though.


1 Comment

  1. squish said,

    Wow, amazing turn of events. Well written sir!

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