Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Christmas Memory (Or, Do You Hear Band-Aid?)


For two years when I lived in Boston, I walked through Boston Common every day to go to work. And, every day, just as I exited the park approaching Downtown Crossing, I saw a homeless guy named Mike.

I know his name was Mike because after the first couple of weeks of taking this walk to work, he leapt in front of me.

"Hey. I see you everyday, so I should introduce myself. I'm Mike."

And with that burst of unusual-for-Boston urban friendliness, I became one of Mike's, uh, patrons; I gave him whatever change I had on me every time I saw him.

Mike was always making people laugh. Once when a highly uptight woman aggressively ducked out of his path, Mike stepped in her way to say:

"Hey lady, where you goin? I don't want to fuck you. I just want your change."

It takes a lot to crack the facades of typical Bostonians, but Mike did it with ease.

One day about this time of year, Mike stood close to the Park Street T Station singing Band-Aid's charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with some lyrics of his own.

Instead of singing "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?" Mike, shaking his hat, sang:

"Let me know it's Christmas time right now!"

I think I gave him five bucks...but the laugh I got that day was priceless.

3 comments:

thonnibg said...

That`s a great story,T!And moving.Thanks for it.

I just wonder what is Mike doing now?

The Scott Blog said...

losing everything and being homeless certainly could enhance your outlook on life. once you reach the bottom, there really isn't anywhere else to look but up.

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

My response to that song always was, "Do They Know It's Ramadan in Tulsa?"