Mile 3 Van Ness
MILE 3 "Homeless Vet"
LOCATION: Van Ness Ave. on the median near the War Memorial.
(A homeless vet selling "street sheets")
Spare some change man? I'm kinda hungry you know? Nah, I didn't get these crutches overseas… It happened a couple of weeks ago. See that guy over there. That little old Asian man. Right there, he's walking his dog. On that little patch of grass. He comes here every day. Like a clock. Right there. In between the Opera House and the Theater. That's a war memorial man. There's supposed to be dirt there from all the countries where American soldiers have lost their lives. And the trees are special. I think there's... a certain number of them… It's supposed to be significant… for some reason... But I don't know why... it's not important. So a couple of weeks ago... that guy's dog takes a leak on one of them trees. And I see it. So I shout at him. To get his dog away from there, right? Only, he don't hear me. He's got a Walkman on. So I'm out here in the middle of the street, on my patch. And I'm yelling at this guy to stay off the grass and to get his dog outta there, right? But the cars are going by and there's no way I can compete. And then his dog... this little Shitzu… Takes a dump right there man. And the owner, this little old Vietnamese "gentleman". He doesn't clean it up. Right? No sir. He doesn't even look down. Can you believe that? He just pretends not to see anything. He just stands there... looking up at the trees. Like he doesn't notice that his dog is crapping on this country. Hey they eat dogs man… they don't care about them… not like we do… when I was over there I saw… nevermind. We called 'em the "hot dogs of war." So, this little furry chicken… is shitting on the memory of red blooded American boys who fought and died for… for what? So that his yellow ass could be safe to come over here… and let his dog do something like that. Because hey, it's a free country, right?. That's when I lost it man. I just broke and ran. But I wasn't gonna hurt him. I wasn't even gonna touch... him. I just wanted to get my hands on that dog man... and rub its nose in it... But I swear, I wasn't gonna hurt it. I was just gonna tell that guy that we got rules over here. That's when the cab hit me. So, that's why I got these crutches… I mean, I made it back home in one piece… "Fit for duty…" as far as the V.A. was concerned… The funny thing is … he didn't even see it happen. He missed the whole thing… I mean. You gotta laugh… don't ya? Nah, I ain't mad at him. He didn't know. Look, the light's gonna change man, Could you spare a buck? For a street sheet? Yeah, yeah I understand. Times are tough. You gotta take care of yourself first. Peace, my man.
He goes back to selling street sheets...
LISTEN to a clip from 49 Miles
Performed by Michael Ray Wisely
Recorded by black box theatre.com
music by Curious Quail
"Apart we are together"