Acid Heroes

May 13, 2015

The Hermit

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:08 pm


There are some people on the street scene that are TOTAL loners.   There’s one guy who’s been on the Telegraph scene for 20 years, and I’ve never once seen him talking to another person.  Nobody knows his real name.  The few people that notice him refer to him as  the Hermit.

The Hermit is short and pudgy, with ratty blonde/gray hair and a ratty beard.  He kind of looks like a big rat.  He even sort of gnaws at his lower lip.  Usually wears four or five shirts and jackets.  The “layered look.”  Which makes him look very round.

For 10 years he set up by himself on Sproul Plaza, just on the periphery of the huge Hate Man street scene.  Like I said, he never talked, but every now and then he would make these high-pitched, squealing animal sounds when he was feeling very frustrated and unhappy.  It was a sound of raw pain.  I’m not sure if he’s even capable of communicating in words.  He’s pretty out there.

I’ve always admired him because, unlike so many street people, he never causes trouble or acts up.  He keeps his pain to himself.   And he’s TOTALLY self-sufficient in a way that few people are.  He never goes to the free meals.  Scrounges all his food from garbage cans.   Collects snipes all day and rolls them into cigarettes.   I’ve never once seen him with money, or go into a store and buy something.


I’ve spent years scrounging around myself, so I often pass him on our respective routes.  I never make eye contact.  All he wants is to be left alone, and that’s not too much for any man to ask.

For the last year his main hang-out spot is an out-of-the-way bench on C****** Ave.   He’s savvy at finding these little pockets of space in the congested urban landscape where he can sit and exist.   The throngs of college students pass him by every day, barely noticing him living amongst them in the shadows.   I’ll see him sitting there, smoking his butts and staring off into space.   Who knows where he came from, or how he ended up like this.   You assume he has no family.  Maybe he never did.   And he obviously has no friends.   He is all alone in this world in a way that few people are.   I suppose you could classify him as a feral human.   In the way that he lives completely outside the bounds of society.  He is truly a stranger in a strange land.

One time I couldn’t resist.  I had my cellphone out and I secretly took a photo of him as he passed me.  I probably shouldn’t have.  And I wouldn’t think of publishing it.  Maybe I shouldn’t even be writing about him.



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