Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do they know it's Christmas?

This evening I devoured what I'm quite sure was the best patty melt I've ever had, at Prime 16 with my friend Lizzie, who is going to London next semester and thus finishing her stint at Yale next week. Afterward, I enjoyed the crisp fresh air on the walk home. Though my extremities were numb, my heart was warm, thanks to the lovely glowing sight of this tree in New Haven Green, which is a park downtown whose potential to be pleasant is somewhat dashed by its nearly constant infestation of belligerent homeless people.

I don't mind homeless people, but I do mind belligerent homeless people, because they're belligerent. I mind belligerent people who own several homes, too. But at least belligerent rich people don't make me uncomfortable and bore me to tears with untrue, long-winded, convoluted diatribes and sob stories that seem always to begin with: "Excuse me! Pardon me! Sir, God bless you. And how are you doing this fine evening? Sir, I've got to tell you, if I could just have a few minutes of your time, please, because, you know, I've just got to say, sometimes in this life ..." OK, buddy, you've already said about 40 more words than I want to hear. Get to the point. I'm happy to give money for good causes; I sponsor a little girl in Senegal, for example. But I'm not sure giving a homeless person $5 solves any of their problems. Doing so may even perpetuate their problems.

New Haven has more than its share of homeless, or at least it seems that way anecdotally. I've actually never seen so many homeless (or homeless-looking, to be fair) people in one place at once as I do in downtown New Haven on any day or night of the week. The key to coping with this situation: headphones. Fortunately, I had just put mine on before taking this picture of the tree, so it allowed me to convincingly ignore some man who started shouting at me: "Excuse me! Pardon me! Sir, God bless you ..."

Ironic, perhaps, that I didn't want to be bothered by someone asking for unselfish kindness because I was too busy admiring a Christmas tree. Maybe the true spirit of the season has escaped me. I better rent Home Alone 2: Lost in New York ...

1 comment:

  1. How funny! That was just on TV yesterday. It's been SO long since I've seen it. I caught the turtle dove scene. Sniffle. Maybe you could have handed him a turtle dove, that would surely have solved everything!