Sunday, May 25, 2008

The hot homeless girl

There is something wrong with my friends and I.

This past Friday night at R's surprise party (yep - surprise! Pulled off by me, biggest blabbermouth ever!), a few of us Hyde Park residents began discussing this girl. Let's call her "Jeanie." Not her real name, but trust me, she looks like a Jeanie. We were telling our non-Hyde Park, South Austin-dwelling friend Kim about her. Here are some tidbits of that conversation.

"She's schizophrenic."

"I think it's a drug thing."

"She hates men."

As you can see, Jeanie doesn't have a reputation for being the cheeriest gal ever. (But when you are homeless, you sort of have that right). However, she also has this reputation...

"You know, if you cleaned her up, she'd be pretty hot."

Now, in any other group of friends, this would be the point where things would start to get weird. Eventually, one person would have the wherewithal to say, "hold on everybody - this girl has a tough time as it is, what with her homelessness and all, let's not add insult to injury by blatantly objectifying her." But not in my group.

"That's so true! She's really cute! Like, totally not bad for a homeless girl!"

Oh God.

But here's the thing: they're right.

Jeanie has really nice skin. Yes, I know she is evenly tan and tawny because she doesn't have shelter. I know it's wrong. But so be it. Jeanie is also physically fit. Why? No shelter! Or car! Always on the move. I know what you're thinking, and yes I'm a little sick.

But I'm going to keep going. Jeanie also has: short brown hair that is mysteriously clean for being homeless, brown eyes, and not to harp or anything, but seriously really pretty skin - not a zit in sight. I know - shame on me! I can't stop sizing her up for one second to pity her situation! But I notice these things, and guys, I would notice it on anyone.

I pass Jeanie on the sidewalk from time to time. I think we're roughly the same age. She doesn't really say much to me, and I never really thought she was homeless, just a little eccentric. Which I like in people. And, she has a tendency to mutter (but then I have a tendency to eavesdrop: so, all good).

The facts became more clear, however, when R. saw her walking around the neighborhood with a sleeping bag. And then, our friend Beaux found her little camp-out area behind Hyde Park Bar and Grill where he works (I think she chased him off). That's when it became startingly clear that Jeanie was, in fact, without house.

Now, Hyde Park has some characters, so if Jeanie was going to hang out anywhere, this is the place. We didn't find it too terribly odd, for example, when our friend Jeremy was standing outside our house, talking on his phone, and Jeanie stopped on the sidewalk to turn, point, and berate him. I wasn't there, but Jeremy said it was along the lines of "you're a MAN and you can rot in HELL." Well, there you go. She also warned Beaux, also unprovoked, not to rape her (why? Because she's kinda hot!) after which we began to "detect a pattern" if you will.

So my last face-to-face with Jeanie happened a few days ago, and this is why I kinda like her. R. and I were leaving Hyde Park Bar and Grill, walking through the parking lot that goes behind La Dolce Vita, a gelaterie. Jeanie walks up, an expectant expression on her face. She looks right past R. (who is a man, keep in mind), focuses on me, and asks if I have any money. Why?

"I just...really want an ice cream."

In the midst of unemployment, not having a home, and having terrible people who blatantly objectify you behind your back in the face of some seriously awful life circumstances, it's nice to know that Jeanie still has a taste for the frivolous. For the simple, silly things that won't substantially improve your lot in life, except maybe bring a smile to your face. I gave her some bills on the spot.


Anonymous said...

Pics or it didnt happen :p

That Austin Girl said...

If I see Jeanie around the neighborhood, Anonymous, I will totally ask for a picture. :D

Anonymous said...

I totally wish I had people like that in my neighbourhood. (Not neccessarily the hot part, but the 'I'm destitute and yet I still revel in basic humanality' part)