Now as you know I live in Somerville but I spend most of my time in and out of work in the illustrious city of Cambridge, home of the largest number of crazy homeless people I have ever seen in my entire life. I realize that every city has its fair share but somehow Cambridge crazies seem to have the whole thing on lock. After extensive research (aka living my life, riding the T and walking to and from my job) I've encounter a couple different types that I would now like to illustrate here.
1. Crazy that hangs out at the bus stop
- this genre of crazy person seems to have only one goal in life: bum cigarettes and change off commuters waiting at the bus stop. Now this is a smart move... they have a ready audience of people they can bother. There is one man in particular that waits at my regular morning bus stop that is the prime example of this stereotype. He's always dressed in short-shorts and a puffy jacket and comes up to people to ask for change to call the welfare office. Now usually I would fall for a sob story like that except for one fact that I can't get around... his hair is dyed a different color every 3 days. Now tell me readers.... wouldn't he be better served using his hair-dye money to front his phone calls costs and generally tobacco needs?
2. Crazy riding the T
- a key component to the T-riding crazy person is volume... its almost like theater, you need to have a great sense of dramatic timing. Their voice rises and falls with the sound of the train, taking each lull in the train's sounds as a cue to start yelling random nonsense at the top of their lungs. The content of their speech is not important, it just has to be nonsensical enough, with enough random curse words thrown in for flavor, to draw your attention away from that really good book you were reading on your kindle/smartphone/ipad device. Luckily for you.. this crazy tends to stay on the T so you can switch cars or just get off at your stop and watch the crazy drive away in the train.
3. Central Square crazies
- What is so atypical about the Central Square crazy is that they are not really interested in the regular folks out there. They take particular delight in bothering their own people aka other crazies. Any time I go to Central, I always see a fight of sorts break out among the people that hang out there. They politely step around regular folks going about their business but continue to antagonize and upset the one guy they decided to pick on that day. In short, central square crazies are bullies with an ever-changing hierarchical system so the bullied becomes the bully from day to day.
Now despite what you may think, I do not necessarily dislike living among all of these homeless people. I know that they are just misunderstood, misguided or they have not been given the proper care and attention necessary for them to become members of society. For some it is even a conscious choice. But at the end of the day, that is what makes living and working in Cambridge so interesting. You get to know your neighborhood crazies and start to pick up on aspects of their life. And at the very least, they will always give you an interesting story to tell when you reach your destination.
3 days ago