YOU HAVE TRASH IN YOUR HAND, and a man in your dumpster. Decisions, decisions.

Maybe most homeless people are so far past shame that digging through garbage as people empty more garbage atop their bodies isn't a big deal. I wish I knew. Jay Brady, the homeless writer and my best homeless friend, doesn't dumpster-dive, and Jesse the Parking Lot King hustles so hard I'd be surprised if he did. So when I see legs hanging over the side of my building dumpster, I grapple with four choices.

a) Throw in my bag of trash, aiming away from homeless person's head, body and extremities.
b) Option a, whilst murmuring something to the effect of "hey how's it going" although it's apparently not going too well.
c) Excitedly lay my trash out on the concrete for his easy perusal, pointing out glass items and/or half-eaten sandwiches.
d) Return upstairs, redistribute trash around my home and act like none of this happened.

Today I left the bag by my parking space to throw away later, which I obviously forgot to do.

Don't know why I pulled punches on this guy though; I don't care for him much. Last week, after months of passing by me without a word he rolls up on me on his scooter in Habib's parking lot asking for change. Unfortunately for him, my stringent new Bum Policy explicitly forbids donations to the young and able-bodied. If I can find four walls for myself I know this Tom Sizemore lookalike can. Come back in a hospital gown and IV drip and I got a quarter for ya. Besides, after all those bottles we trashed after my birthday party this fool should be tipping me.



I was apprehensive about asking Julio for a photograph. All he seems to do all day is speedwalk brown paper shopping bags from one Latino household to another. On top of that, up close he looks kind of like Alejandro Sosa from Scarface in the year 2076. So I wasn't sure if he was going to accept or shoot me in the gut and sprinkle coke on me, but I asked anyway because I'm dumb like that. Whatever this guy is doing, it's keeping his ass alive in a major way. Thanks to the speedbumps and the fact that you can now park on both sides of the street, Julio gets down Westwood Block faster than most cars.



Venice & Westwood (yes they cross), 12:55pm 3/28/2010

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