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Why's It Got to Be With Me?

Ranter: Homeless man lying beneath a tree

Location: Bus stop, that lick of hot concrete and two trees at Third and Main

Time: Noon on a Saturday

Topics covered: The varying levels of authority granted to municipal safety officers; district safety officer uniforms; whose ass the city does or does not exercise ownership over; whose name is whose business; the arbitrary nature of selective enforcement.

Does Rant Include Advice Regarding Who You Should and Should Not Fuck With: Yes.

The Rant:

[Without getting up or making eye contact, homeless man addresses district safety officers, who apparently have asked him to move.]

Homeless Man: You're clowning! Don't act like you got authority! I hate you purple-shirt motherfuckers!

[District safety officer speaks softly to him.]

Homeless Man: Yeah, I was sleeping, but I ain't sleeping now! And I ain't on no ledge, I'm on my own goddamn ass! You going to tell me the city owns that, too? It might own yours, but it don't own mine!

[District safety officer talks into walkie-talkie.]

Homeless Man: Go ahead and call the police. The real police. If you had any authority, you'd be cuffing me right now!

[District safety officer speaks softly to him.]

Homeless Man: What's your name, buddy? Mine ain't none of your business!

[District safety office introduces himself.]

Homeless Man: I don't want to know shit about you! I already know the important thing — you ain't no real police! I just want to be left the fuck alone! That's why I come here every day! To be left alone! And that's why you purple-shirt fuckers come here every day! To fuck with me!

[Homeless Man points at another homeless man asleep on the pavement.]

Homeless Man: He sleeps up here! Why don't you fuck with him? I look at all the others you could be fucking with, and I just don't get it. Why's it got to be with me?

[District safety officers consult. Ten minutes pass. The sun has shifted, and Homeless Man hauls himself up, gathers his belongings and moves to a shady spot under another tree on the same corner. He does not fall asleep. Eventually, the district safety officers cycle away.]