Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Obituary of Harry Homeless

"Whatch writin'?"
"My obituary."
"Bitch-you-airy? You gonna die or sumpthin'?"
"Most people do."
"I mean, whatcha writin' it now fer?"
I lifted my eyeballs to stare into his. "Because if I don't, who will?"
That he understood.

She spoke to any who would listen:

"It was funny because near the end he just kept going around to everyone saying, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." He wouldn't say what for. But his face - he had this look on his face so wrought with guilt you knew he'd done something terribly wrong. Maybe he killed somebody. Maybe it was himself he'd killed. I've never seen a person in so much obvious pain. So in that sense I don't look at his death in a bad light - not if it prevented that kind of suffering. My God.

"I know he was haunted by past crimes but all he told me were vague references to turning down chances for love, to do right. And then he said, "And now I can't even trust myself with the chance." I didn't say anything at the time but I always thought what a living hell it must be to live like that. His spoken dream was to get money, curl up in a hole and never be seen again. But I think he had another dream - a real dream - he never told anyone about.

"The only other time he opened up to me was to say he had to quit hoping "for her". That it was insane to keep hoping and yet that hope drove his life. Something happened to him as a child - again, he wouldn't say exactly what - but Harry's life was way, way off course. It showed more obviously than I think he ever knew. He had a great insight into people which he went to great lengths to disguise. I wish I could unravel this tragedy myself but I think the only person who had any chance at that was the "her" he'd never explain."

-Shellee Bratton, Shelter Director

Later, when mingling with the scant mourners, Shellee was overhead to say, "Frankly, I think the only reason he ever opened up to me was because he wanted me. Truth is he was horrifyingly desperate."

Thinking of you, Sherry...


Harry Homeless died today, unknown. Autopsy revealed cause of death to be a rotted soul, broken heart and deep-seated misanthropy. Doctors were astounded at the depths of self-destruction revealed. "We had no idea a human could exist in such a state. He should have been dead twenty years ago. In fact, his condition at the time of death is so unbelievable and contradictory to current scientific principles we are declaring him never to have existed."

[The dead guy did leave a final farewell note (complete with hyperlinks!)]

Random shit that goes through my head while pushing a broom:

"Don't do it, Matt. You're a Star Fleet officer, that makes you a valuable commodity. We need you."

"But I am upset, Benjamin. Extremely upset."

"Yes, there are such things as vampires, but that's OK because Buffy's a superhero!"

"So what is life?"
"Life is love."
"I think you'll make it," surmised Debby with a smile.

"I know thee well: a serviceable villain, As duteous to the vices of thy mistress as badness would desire."

"Sometimes, General, they can't tell when you're acting and when you're not."
"It isn't important for them to know. It's only important for me to know."

"He's formulating an answer."

"Number Nine...Number Nine...Number Nine..."

Mr. Homeless is survived by a dying planet and an oblivious populace. He listed his occupation as: "World's Smartest Dishwasher, Guilty Prophet, Mental Kung Fu Artist and Self-Saboteur."

Few claimed to know him though many were deceived into thinking they did. ("If they think they know your game, they stop asking questions. Give 'em a game to see through, it makes them feel clever.")

Hobbies included: stoking a chronically poor attitude, engaging in officially useless daydreams and cheerleader worship.

Only the daydreams did he enjoy.

Last true hug was in 1997.

Famous last words: "I fucked up." Soon to be the mantra of many.

The deceased requested a headstone engraved with, "Fuck you, world!" and "Life is love!" However, markers aren't made for the homeless.


As requested, the "Song of Atsumori" - a favorite of 16th century warlod Oda Nobunaga - was recited at the funeral in both Japanese and English:

"Ningen Gojuunen,
Geten no uchi wo kurabureba,
yumemaboroshi no gotokunari.
Hitotabi sei wo ete,
metsusenu mono no

"A man's life of 50 years under the sky
is nothing compared to
the age of this world.
Life is but a fleeting dream, an illusion --
Is there anything that lasts forever?"


Thinking of you, Kim...


A reporter questioned attendees to explain Citizen Harry's final words of "Cranberry sauce":

"One thing I remember he said I'll never forget. He said it like a joke but I could tell it wasn't. He said he couldn't watch a movie that was a love story anymore. He said it was like being invited to a restaurant to watch others eat their food. He was that hopeless."

"None of us ever approached him much 'cept for Terri. He loved Terri and 'bout died when she left. They was both on the same wavelength and ya saw a diff'rent side of him when they was together. She was real blunt and didn't hold back and he liked that. But the rest of the time he'd just be scribbling in his pad and mumblin' and if ya said anything to him he'd always have somethin' smart to say back at ya. One day ol' Otis got all crabby and walks over to him an' says, "Harry, you there with that pad makes me feel like you spyin' on me!" Harry just looks up at him and says, "I am.""

"I saw him nap once when he had what he called a daymare. Made me shudder. His body was twitching like a war was going on inside. You could almost see the demons tormenting him as he slept. I can still see it it freaked me out so bad. You see lots of bad stuff here in the shelter, but Harry's insides were really mangled and his life twisted. It was an effort of will to make it through every day. What do you do for someone like that?"

"I always thought he was a freakin' narcissist. He never did anything that wasn't for the benefit of his ego. Who cares what you have, dude, if you're not gonna use it!"


Psst, hey bud, over here. Wanna know a secret? I'm really not a person. I'm a committee of discarded intellectuals frothing with rage at our demise. We use Harry as a vehicle to deliver our message of disgust. See if you can spot the different styles even though we tried to blend our voices. But then again, no matter how hungry or cold or homeless we may be, we're still smarter than you!


Greatest accomplishments were listed as "Meeting Debby" and "Writing my novel". He said his novel was his "only art" and he had put his heart and soul into it. Allegedly online, he suppressed it after receiving too much positive feedback ("That girl who called from California went nuts over it.")


Greatest regrets were listed as "Meeting Debby" and "Running away from everything I wanted". Mr. Homeless also stated on several occasions he regretted acting like a moron. He also wished to declare a posthumous apology for the number of buildings (and patrol cars) he peed on in public.


You tell me
The world is flat;
I tell you I
Trust only my cat!


Ironically, the happiest moments of Mr.Homeless' life were his final ones, shouting continuously, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last! I'm finally free of you fuckers!!"

Thinking of you, Debby...

No comments: