Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Hobos of Greenpoint

Well, maybe 'hobo is the wrong word, as that sort of implies some itinerancy and I'm assuming this particular klatch of sots all lives in the near vicinity. There are four main guys, frequently found hanging around the G Station of a morning, drinking Vodka and speaking in Polish. All are very weathered, like old salts really, although I have no idea why. Although they're uniformly surly, they pretty much keep to themselves. There is one with a beard, who is particularly gnarled and nut-brown with a thatch of iron-gray hair. Another wears a very fine argyle sweater. A third, well, has no legs. The fourth one is actually more of a loner, and sort of the worst drunk of the lot, even though they're all drunk at all hours and frequently slumped in doorways on Nassau Avenue. The fourth, who has a moustache, frequently weaves down the street like a cartoon souse,except it's not remotely funny, sometimes falling down or setting off car alarms when he lurches into them. Once over the winter when it was very cold and getting colder I tried to buy him a cup of coffee and get him indoors, but he became furious and sort of tried to punch me. Another time he came into a deli where I was buying a cranberry juice and started screaming at people in Polish, especially me.

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