Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rewind: Bum Of The Week

Written by Corey Hutchins

Originally published in 2006

Jimmy’s Stats

Age: Late 50s

Name: Jimmy

Where Loitering: Maxcy Gregg Park

Time & Date: 9:45 p.m. - July 31, 2006

Quote: “Nobody fucks with me.”

Drug of Choice: Booze

“I need some goddamn pussy over here!”

That’s what the old white guy with the dirty-gray Santa-Clause-looking beard and mesh trucker’s cap pulled low over his face said after City Paper woke him up from a sacked-out slumber on a swinging park bench in Maxcy Gregg Park the night of July 31.

As thunderclouds rolled overhead and heat lighting lit up his weathered face, the man calling himself “Jimmy” sat upright and opened his bleary blue eyes wide.

“I’m drunk, OK,” he said, picking up a battered blue and white backpack and rummaging around through it. “Booze,” he said.

Jimmy said he did not smoke crack or do any other drugs.

“I just do booze,” he said, his speech slurred and sometimes incomprehensible as he pawed through his bag. “I’m trying to find some right now.”

Unfortunately for Jimmy, City Paper caught him on a Sunday and could not help him out.

Nor could he be entertained with the other request he shouted out repeatedly throughout the interview.

“Need some pussy over here!” he yelled toward Blossom Street as cars passed, his head rolling back against the back support of the bench. “Goddamn it! Need some pussy right over hee-yuh!”

A man on another bench nearby warned him about screaming such things, saying the previous night Jimmy had been yelling that same refrain throughout the Five Points area while people were still out walking around.

“Shit, y’all should have seen him yesterday... he wouldn’t shut the fuck up,” he said. “You better shut that shit or you gonna get everybody locked up.”

Portions of Harden Street, Devine Street and Santee Street were hopeless for the homeless that evening.

So were the darkened areas between the Shell station and Food Lion.

When asked if Jimmy was drunk, his friend said, “you could call it that,” before shaking his head and walking away.

“Hey Jimmy,” he said over his shoulder before departing. “Come on before it start to fuckin’ goddamn rain like a bitch out here.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Park was also vacant of vagrants, as was the Five Points area. In the alleyway between Wachovia and the Salty Nut Cafe, there were also no hobos to be found.

A Columbia Police Dept. patrol car positioned on Lauren Street created slim pickings for any train track transients near Durkins and Mr. Friendly’s.

As the thunder grew louder, and others around him got up to find shelter, Jimmy stayed put. “I don’t think it’s gonna rain. I’m [going to] stay right here,” he said. “Goddamn, shit. Goddamn it, yeah. Fuck the goddamn rain.”

And then:

“I need some pussy over here right now!”

When asked where he was going to get it, and what was going to do with it if he did, he replied, “We can go down to Five Points right now and get it, OK. ...Need some pussy over here!”

Jimmy said he was from Columbia and had been through a lot throughout the years. He said he had seen quite a bit of the “good” and the “bad” since he’s been on the streets.

“I’ve been through a lot of things,” he said.

“I’ve seen [people] killing other [people]. Right over here,” he said, pointing to the woods beyond the park, though he didn’t seem too worried about it.

“Nobody fucks with me,” he said.

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