close to the edge

I don’t mind Crazy People.

I see them all the time. In the subway. On the street.

It’s cool with me.

Just last night I was walking to a bar with J.P. and we passed a Crazy Person.

He had given up the whole charade of asking for money in the normal way and was standing on the corner, yelling at the top of his lungs to all who passed by, “CHANGE!”

No “Could you spare a quarter?”

No “I just need fifty cents to get on the train, please help.”

He was done with all that.

He had decided to cut to the chase and scream “CHANGE!” at everyone. And he wasn’t even posing it as a question, which makes me wonder if that guy was really Jesus Back From Heaven to save our souls and tell us to repent and stop buying so much porn and we were all just ignoring him.

Then this morning, when I got on the train to go to the gym, there was another Crazy Person standing in between the cars.

He was standing there as the train went through the tunnels and all the stops, just having the time of his fucking life.

He was also wearing rain boots and a scarf, so really, he was quite fashionable for a Crazy Person. Though I’m fairly certain there was shit caked to his scarf, and I don’t think Those That Are Fashionable do this.

At least not yet. That’s next season and I hear Marc Jacobs is all over it.

This is what my life is like on a daily basis.

I see Crazy People and I acknowledge them. I’m not freaked out or scared like some people, usually I’m quite interested in them and what they’re doing.

This is because I know that I am always just one rude comment, one too many shots of Patron, one person annoying me away from joining them.

I could easily see myself becoming one of them, standing on a corner and yelling about how I hate umbrellas and fanny packs.

I wonder if they’ll carry that scarf in green?


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50 responses to “close to the edge

  1. melissalion

    I hate the “Anything Helps, Even a Smile” signs. I mean, does my ignoring you and locking all the doors in my car help? I hope so, because that’s what I’m doing.

    Of course, those signs might be just a west coast thing. You east coasters are so abrasive and in your face and X-treme. We west coasters need to be passive aggressively manipulated into coughing up our pennies.

    Did I say enough inflammatory things in this comment. I try for three per post.

  2. melissalion

    I was the first to comment! Yay me!

  3. Saw a guy the other day with a sign that said he needed money to fund his expedition to save the princess. Thought about giving him some, but then I figured I’d just go home, dust off Mario 64, and do it myself.

    By the way, that reminds me of this:

  4. Ben

    If I ever come to NYC, would you please at least pretend to be a crazy corner person who yells things at me as I pass then blogs about it? That would be swell.

  5. As a fashion and scarf aficionado, I have to tell you that it will probably be Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood, or Alexander McQueen who will be doing shit-caked scarves for their next shows. You’d never catch an American designer with that– they’re much more into urine and pit stains. It might be a NASCAR thing.

  6. Crazy people scare the hell out of me.

    So do retarded people.

    And clowns.

  7. aaahhhaaahahaaa!!!

    I loooooooved this.

  8. Love it. The CHANGE guy is probably friends with the guy who told Matthew and I over the weekend, “White people are the devil, sorry, but it’s true, bet you didn’t wake up this morning feeling evil, but you are.”

  9. You never know when a crazy person might come in handy.

  10. JessNYC

    I always feel guilty walking right past people begging.

    Great post tho, made me smile. It’s a fine line between normal and crazy sometimes…!

  11. My favorite sign I saw a Crazy Person holding was in downtown Orlando. It said, “Can you spare some change? Not gonna lie, gonna buy beer.”

    I applaud that guy for his honesty.

  12. I think I’ve actually had this thought before reading your posts. “Oh man, this dude could so easily be a crazy person on the subway complaining out loud.”

    Just kidding. You’re right about the street corner thing.

  13. Its coming in fashion… its called Derelicte.

    As Mugato said, “Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.”

  14. Aside from those in-your-face beggars’ being annoying, they’ve also just got bad strategy. Screaming at me with your bloodshot eyes and rotten teeth is less likely to get you a quarter than a shot of mace in your grill.

  15. Seattle is crawling with the homeless.

    My fave is the guy that stands at the end of the off-ramp and has a sign thatsays “Bet you can’t hit my with a quarter.”

    I havent tried because i am convinced he will just sue me for millions if the quarter lands.

  16. *me with a quarter.

    Thats the typo i hate the most, and i do it all the time. Oh, cruel irony.

  17. Maybe he just wanted people to change outfits? He’s trying to warn you of the upcoming Shit Scarf Trend.

  18. Homeless people are the tops. I’m going to start yelling for change in my office building today. Its about time homeless people started making statements and not asking questions.

  19. crazy people seriously make my day sometimes. one time back in trinidad i saw a ‘crazy’ jotting notes in a piece of paper. i walked closey to see what he was writing, and i kid you not, at the top of the page he wrote “World Plot to Kill Me”, and proceeding that he was bulleting points on how the world is out to get him. that shit was classic and made my day!

  20. melissa l – You west coasters are weak. And congrats on being the first. You win a smile from me. Do you see it?

    justin – I’m a Mario Cart man myself. I fucking love that game.

    ben – If you buy me the alcohol needed to properly incite my rage.

    megan – Hahaha – they’re much more into urine and pit stains. It might be a NASCAR thing. – that was awesome.

    kristen – I don’t get why people are scared of clowns. They’re just people who are bored with life and wear really big shoes.

    kindredly – Thanks! You’re too nice.

    melissa – Hahaha – at least he was nice about it.

    matt – Exactly!

    jess – Don’t feel guilty, it’s expected. And thanks!

    lauren – Yes, I love the honest ones too.

    jessica – Hahaha – you weren’t kidding, and I’m fine with that.

    mrstwink – Hahaha – you are so eloquent!

    fortknocks – Very true.

    kelly – Oh man, please please, please do it. Then blog about it the next day. Please! And don’t worry typos are welcomed hear.

    meghan – I think you might be right.

    rs27 – Exactly, time to take hold of your thoughts!

    aaron – Hahaha – you gotta love it that he was so organized about it.

  21. Yo Pa just walked by our apartment (backwards, of course) muttering something about not being included in this post. He looked mad. Also, he wants to know if you can spare a quarter for a homeless man.

  22. I like giving homeless people actual food, like unopened granola bars. Boy, does that piss them off! Not what they had in mind!

  23. Marcos

    Dude, you’re more than halfway there and past the point of no return. I’ll always hit you up with some change though.

  24. I totally thought you were going to mention seeing Crazy People in your apartment. I’m glad you didn’t go there, for your sake.

    Also, I totally linked to you. Just an FYI.

  25. I love crazy people too. They’re one of my favorite parts of New York.

  26. on a recent photo shoot downtown, i had a crazy guy in a rainbow scarf ask me if i was a spy. because i was taking pictures of the flowers and maybe they were bugged and i was assigned to photograph them for The CIA.

    i love me some crazies.

  27. Man, I haven’t seen a crazy person in the city in awhile. I need to get out more.

  28. anytime i hear about a crazy person asking for money, I now think of the song “Crazy People” by Rehab (if you haven’t heard it, I highly suggest downloading it).

    “Excuse me sir, could you spare a buck or two?”
    “Fuck you, motherfucka I need liquor, too.”

  29. I like those down syndrome kids.

    Wait, what are we talking about?

  30. I think it’s time you admit that you are less than just one rude comment away from being a Crazy Person yourself. Let’s not continue this charade.

  31. I have a lot of respect for crazy people. In fact I wonder why more people don’t go crazy. I think it is just because many people have a safety net, mom and dad to give them money if they fall on hard times. If you have no one and you are in despair life becomes too much and you simply go cuckoo.

  32. ari – I knew he’d be pissed at me. Tell him I’ll buy him some crack on my way home tonight.

    mickey – I always wonder what food a homeless person would like. A sandwich? Maybe a Twix?

    marcos – That is why you’re one of my best friends.

    nancypearl – The only crazy person in my apartment is me. And Jack. And thanks!

    stephanie – Yes, it’s a great place to live, right?

    ashley – He’s a smart guy.

    dmb5 – Yes you do. But not too often, then they start to get overwhelming.

    birdwatching – Sounds like a classic to me!

    kiala – We’re talking about global warming.

    mindy – You’re right. I could find myself on a corner by the end of today. That sounded Dirty.

    emmak – Exactly. I think I’d already be crazy if it wasn’t for my Mom paying my rent. I kid!

  33. notsojenny

    i’m always afraid of crazy people. i’m little and i have a fear of being shanked.

  34. I totally think you should wear a rainbow scarf if you go off the deep end.

  35. I’m for a Harry Potter scarf, because then at least you’ll appeal to an imaginative demographic. Just helping you out here on homeless-crazy marketing tactics.

  36. last year, this Crazy Guy climbed into a tree in a public park where i live. he did not come down for several days and the police were called. the man refused to come down. the police started shooting beanbags at him. none of my friends were moved by this story, but i was always scanning local news to hear about the guy in the tree.

    i only realized on reflection that i was so outraged at police-bean-bag-shotting because i can totally imagine myself needing to climb a tree and refuse to come down some day.

  37. megkathleen

    I wish I had more encounters with homeless people. Apparently, Seattle is crawling with them and I never see them. Except that time one of them asked me to join him in the alley to share a bottle of liquor. I think after a long night of drinking I looked and sounded crazy too. Yeah, it must have been the drinking.

  38. I usually worry that Crazy People are going to push me into traffic.

  39. One of the craziest things I saw when I was on the subway going into queens one early morning was an old man taking off his pants. I thought oh crap if he even begins to masturbate in front of me I’m going to puke. But no he just took off his pants to reveal underneath he had on another pair of pants. He did this about three times I believe and all I could do was stare because it wasn’t cold outside so there was no need for the extra pants. He just folded them neatly next to him as if this was no big thing. I do miss the crazies sometimes.

  40. notsojenny – Hahaha – I think most crazy people don’t carry shanks. Dirty underwear? Yes.

    deutlich – If that’s what you think, then I am down.

    nico – You can be my marketing director! Let’s talk advertising…

    heather – Hahaha – are bean bags really a way to deter someone from doing something? I mean, I feel like I’d enjoy it and think of it as some kind of fun game.

    megkathleen – You should have joined him, I bet he was nice.

    hollywood – They’d never do that, they like your blog too much.

    lissa – He should get a job in retail!

  41. Ah yes, NYC in a nutshell. You’d think I’d miss the Crazies, and yet it has been kind of nice not having them around lately.

  42. Wherein a self-appointed genius(me) quotes himself:

    “The only thing keeping me from being ‘crazy’ is a constant struggle to appear to be sane.”

  43. tia

    maybe he wasn’t yelling for pocket change, but rather a global change in action.

    i’m optimistic.

  44. It was totally Jesus.

  45. Crazy People love me for some reason, well them and crackheads. (Have you ever been hit on by a crackhead? Pure comedy to say the least.)

    Usually when someone is on the corner begging for change, I ask them for a dollar, I mean times is rough…well except that one time. I saw a man dancing in the street here in Atlanta with a sign that said “WHY LIE NEED BEER” and then flipped it over and it said “COLT 45.” I gave him some change, I had to respect the man’s hustle, plus he was twerkin’ in somethin’ proper-like LMAO

  46. nicole – Yeah, I could see that.

    ryan – Nice quote, sums it up well.

    tia – Optimism is not shown often here, so thank-you for that.

    kali – You’re probably right. Well, I was probably going to hell anyway, so…

    boogiemonsta – Hahaha – I would’ve tried to hang out with the guy, he sounds pretty cool.

  47. OMG I totally saw a crazy guy on the side of the road with a sign that said “I’m not going to lie, I just want a beer! -God Bless!” I about died!!! If I had a six pack in the car I so would have thrown him one!

  48. Dude, that “Change?” line is straight out of a South Park episode. Do you think the guy had seen it and was mocking it? In which case he probably wasn’t a real homeless person and was just posing as one, because what homeless person sits around watching South Park?

  49. I miss my regular crazy guy from my old subway stop. He was always good for an unintelligible conversation, and he never asked for money. Not verbally, anyway.

  50. wellhmmyep

    I always have the crazy people approach always…I once had to play the quiet game with a drunk bum on the train because he kept talking to me after I told him to leave me alone….crazy thing is he shut up after I told him that he can’t talk because he would lose at the game. Then some guy started to pray aloud on the train across us in another language….all in one night.

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