Posts Tagged ‘MTV’s The Real World Washington’

Today was cold.  I thought I would look for someone who was living on the streets.  It didn’t take me long before I walked by JR.

I have actually seen JR before…probably even given him some money too.  As I walked by, he charismatically asked me for some help.  I asked if I could sit down and talk to him and he grinned revealing a warm albeit almost toothless smile.    

Originally from DC, JR said he was in his 50s and has been on the streets for about 15 years.  He said he got on the streets after 20 years of “being in trouble.”  He sometimes stays at St. Lukes or the La Casa shelter.  He commented on the pros and cons of each.  “St. Lukes kicks you out at 6am…and its cold that early.” 

He had cane leaning against his leg and showed me his knee…the right knee noticeably larger than the left.  He said it was full of fluid and he needed to get it drained.  Then he pulled out his left hand from his coat and revealed his thumb which he said was cold “due to anemia.”  His hands looked tired and leathery and the left thumb felt more like a Popsicle.

JR says he is going to get some chicken soup and maybe a beer with the money.  I told him about Knox’s fondness for eggnog and he too divulged a soft spot for the concoction.  Although he was going to spend the $10 on himself, he said that he once found $300 next to an ATM.  Upon finding it, he claims to have shared a few $20s with some friends. 

He must have asked three more times for more money before I left.  However, I am not too worried about JR.  He is a brilliant salesman at heart.  He must have got $4 plus a cigarette from others during the 15 minutes I sat with him.  He said some days he brings in close to $100.  He deftly manages conversation with me as he scopes the passing foot traffic and tries to lure contributions to his paper cup in his right hand.  He even told me that he was interviewed on MTV’s The Real World Washington, DC.  I believe him too.  He is quite the showman.  I have a feeling that today was not the last we will hear about JR.

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