Dear Squatter girl…


(not an actual photo of the girl I’m talking about…but close enough)

Dear squatter girl chilling outside of Duane Reade,

Hi there. I’m sorry, I don’t know your name so I hope you don’t mind if I just refer to you as “Piece of shit”, as you are basically a living and breathing embodiment of fecal matter in form of a 21 year old white girl.

So, how’s it going Piece of shit? I’ve noticed you hanging out on my corner for a few weeks now. You tend to post up against the wall, with a beautifully written sign (your calligraphy is quite impressive) asking people for change. By your side, as always, is your lovely dog. He seems happy enough. I often see you either doing drawings or writing in a journal of sorts. I’m glad you can find time to be creative in such an apparent dire time in your life. Lord knows, when it comes to real homeless people, creative expression is of the upmost importance. In fact, it’s rare you see a vagrant without an easel within arms reach. That’s because, being homeless isn’t about hard times or a last option. No, it’s about exploring the world and doing so without having to answer to anyone. totally. You’re the new millenium version of the classic train hoppin’ hobo from the 50’s , armed with only a harmonica and twinkle in your eye.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to shoot the shit with you for a bit.You don’t seem very busy so now’s as good a time as ever. I gotta say, I’m impressed with your spirit. You no doubt retire under a bridge every night and sleep with one eye open. Such is the life of people as downtrodden as you. I don’t doubt there is some horrific story of how you got to this point. Certainly , you’re not from a wealthy suburban family. Definitely not…You definitely didn’t leave home and move to new york to come to art school, thinking your artistic talent would pay the bills immediately. And there’s no way you’re doing this to get back at your uptight (but ultimately loving) dad who really wishes you had just gone to college like your siblings. surely, there is no open door policy for their daughter. No, you’re alone. Locked out from the family cause they simply could not understand you. I bet your high school art teacher understood you.

I’ve noticed though that , while you appear to be a bum through and through, you appear to have been able to maintain some things that most people in your situation would have abandoned a long time ago. Let’s list them:

1)A dog
Now, if you were really as down and out as you would like to appear, that little guy would more likely be food then a companion. By having him with you, sure, you get to live your Rin Tin Tin life fantasy but you’re also begging for two mouths to feed. Perhaps him being there inspires sympathy from passer-byers. In fact, he’s probably the homeless equivalent of a child star…and you are his stage mom. Well done. But just remember, if you’re ever really hungry, you can sell that motherufucker. China town is only 30 minutes away.

2)personal style
Usually, when a person hits rock bottom, all superficial things fall to the side. But, such is not the case with you. You somehow manage to look like a person who might work in a thrift store in Greenpoint. And your hair! It’s dyed perfectly! I’ve long said that the true sign of poverty and despair is someone who can get their hands on “Manic panic” against all odds. Also, nice kicks. I was gonna buy those but they were a bit expensive. But , you know, some of us have bills to pay! By the way…That tattoo you got is fantastic. A full sleeve! Who needs food when you can have a full sleeve? Not you, Piece of shit.

3)Piercing upkeep

Listen, I know you don’t have health insurance. But I must commend you on keeping all those body and facial pierces clean. That’s gotta be difficult with all the dirt you must roll in. Germs are everywhere…especially in pocket change. I don’t suppose soup kitchens are handing out hydrogen peroxide now, are they? Well, whatever the case, that cheek ring look wonderful.

4)Nice phone!

Is that the new droid?Shit…I want one of those. But the plans are kinda expensive. You must have got an awesome deal at one of those secret hobo swap meets I’m always hearing about. I feel like texting and friends are two things that go hand in hand with being homeless. If there’s one thing homeless people have, it’s social options.

All those great things going on for you. Not to mention, you’re young. The world is in the palm of your hands. All that’s missing is a roof!
The other day, I saw some dimwitted person offer you food. Cause, you know, homeless people tend to be hungry. You asked him if it was vegetarian. Sadly, it was not. You respectfully declined and , i swear, i could have seen your dog mime blowing his own brains out with a shotgun. I wonder if he’s a vegetarian too?

I often find myself wondering “what does Piece of shit do with her day?”
Surely , there are only so many free glass blowing symposiums to attend in one day. And a coffee shop can only take up so much of one persons day. Do you wander? You must meet all sorts of great people. Other squatters, just like you. With bank cards and college Id’s. Oh the tales you must share! I bet one of you has even seen a fist fight. In a way, I envy your bohemian approach to life. Why walk on the lame busy road, when you can dip through the enchanted forest and really experience what life has for you. It’s not like this lifestyle puts you in harms way. Fuck no! you’re a 21 year old white girl who weighs about 105 pounds. You’re unbreakable.

So, yeah, Piece of shit. I wish you the best of luck in your travels. Whether it be across this great country of ours or back to brooklyn when the Pratt dorms reopen this fall. Do me a solid and keep an eye out for your fellow homeless brethren. They no doubt have accepted you with open arms and would only want to best for you. Although, I’d imagine they’re are also wary that the day will soon come when you spread your wings, go back home to your wealthy parents, go back to school , get a job , get married and have kids who eventually go to private school in new england. But , until that day, stand strong, Piece of shit. Oh…but could you do me a solid and get the fuck off my corner? You and your dog smell like a corpse’s vagina.

With Love and respect,

Tony