Seeking Human Kidneys
Walking through Harvard Square in Cambridge is always an interesting experience. Between the street performers, the lice-ridden vagrants, the snooty Harvard grad students, the random hippies trying to get you to sign a petition to save the rainforest, and the bums hassling you for change, it is rare to take a trip through Harvard Square without at least one double take. Yesterday, for instance, I was walking past the Harvard Coop when I saw this guy with absurdly tight pants and a pair of stilettos on. Just walking down the street casually, yet I could tell he was taking immense pleasure in the numerous “What the…?” glances pedestrians were shooting at him. He looked like this dude.
Another problem that arises when traversing the streets of Harvard Square is that you are constantly being harangued by hoboes. Harvard Square is the ideal location for panhandling, as at any given time there are more bleeding heart liberals in this one block area than in any other place on earth. And nothing stirs a bleeding heart more than a deranged homeless man screaming obscenities and then demanding your spare change.
A common strategy employed by these guys is to hold up a sign describing their situation. It’ll say something like “Family man, three kids, lost job, anything is appreciated.” Some of them try to get creative, like the now passé “I need a beer sign.”
At any rate, the point of the blog post is this: as I walked down the street in the Square last night, out of the corner of my eye I saw a group of bums lying down outside the old cemetery on the outskirts of the Square. Being a cold-hearted bastard, I do my best to ignore homeless people in all situations. The main tenent of my philsophy is to avoid eye contact; looking into a homeless person’s eyes is like looking into the eyes of Dracula, only instead of draining your blood they’re draining your pockets for loose change. It’s a sad state of affairs. In this case, I kept my eyes straight ahead and pretended to send a text message on my cell phone. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that one of the homeless men was holding up a hastily scrawled sign on a brown board. However, this one caught my attention for it’s startlingly blunt assertion that the sign-holder was “Seeking Human Kidneys.”
As I walked on, I began to contemplate what kind of sordid operation these derelicts were involved in that they needed human kidneys. Then I thought, “Well, maybe one of them needs a kidney transplant.” Then I thought, “Who is going to give their kidney up to a middle-aged homeless stranger? That’s asking a lot.” Then I thought “Maybe I read the sign wrong.” So I stopped, and was thoroughly disappointed to find that it actually said “Seeking human kindness.” So I gave the guy a quarter and walked home.