Dr. Wes Sells OutI am happy to report that great new opportunities for lucrative employment for us homeless people are opening up. I'm not talking about day labor, not yard work, not washing dishes, but something specific to the homeless, something we can, in principle, do better than anyone else.
We can play homeless people on TV!
So there I was hanging out at the Real Change dump, getting my ears blasted by 120 decibels of Critters Buggin, trying to get some writing done, trying to forget that I could instead be writing to a mere 60 decibels in a cafe if I just had enough money for a cup of coffee to justify my presence at one, when a call came from Magic Hour Films in Belltown.
They were doing an ad for United Way about programs for homeless youth and needed six older homeless types as extras in the ad. Could the Real Change to send some on over? "Why, sure, we could ask some vendors if they'd be interested. And Dr. Wes is here right now, we're sure he'd do it. Dr. Wes will do anything."
What a great gig! I was paid $10 an hour to wait 4 and a half hours until they needed me. While waiting we got to watch television, drink coffee, and eat sandwiches. They also asked us all to smoke, and to save up our cigarette butts in a cup, for props. No problem!
In fact the only problem that surfaced was that the film company expected that we would all be much more scary looking. As our director Holly said, after lining us up to look at us, "They're all so NICE looking!"
So, OK, maybe homeless people can only play themselves best *in principle*. Actors may still be required to get the stereotype down.
But I tried hard to oblige when it was my turn to be filmed. After all, all I had to do was sit on a step and root through the "props" while staring with annoyance at the hand-held camera as it was walked by, something that comes as natural as breathing. Took three minutes to tape it three times.
I'm going to see if I can't do this more often.
or Opus Marcus Sidranus
I'm not going to complain about Sidran,
though he's given me brand new reason:
He now wants to be given authority
to rid parks of rampant illegality
without bothering with due process
as laws and courts are such a mess!
What a truck-load of BS!
We elected him to make them work!
But, no, I'm not going to do it.
I'm not going to say he's a ____.
Instead I'll just change the subject, and talk to myself aimlessly -- as we crazy homeless people are apt to do, scaring the decent folks away from the city parks and sidewalks that belong only to them.
I am asking myself why I do this. Why do I write? After a few cups of reheated coffee, and a half-dozen cigarettes, the reasons slowly return to me.
- Attracted to the wild lifestyle -- writers really know how to party!
- To annoy politicians and collect fun hate-mail to show off to my friends.
- Getting too old to make it as an exotic dancer.
- But not too old to make it with "writer-groupies."
- I've always enjoyed working with my fingers.
- Why not? What's going to happen? That nobody reads it? If I don't write it, how are they going to read it?
- If I didn't, Tim the Editor God would chase me away from this computer. No more reheated coffee.
- "Uh, I can't attend your important meeting, I'm on deadline."
- "I'm a writer" sounds better than "I'm chronically unemployed."
- I was MADE to sit on my ass all day. This is my essence.
More MisAdventures in Poetry
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