Acid Heroes

November 20, 2015

A tale of two street people: Hate Man

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:42 pm
Tags: , , ,


Hate Man never ceases to amaze me.  I’ve seen so many people hit the streets, young and strong, and they just sort of disintegrate right in front of you.  But Hate Man is 79-years-old , and he’s been living on the streets for decades.   And yet he’s still a pretty virile and vital guy.  Still has a twinkle in his eye and a skip in his step.

Even more amazing, Hate Man smokes two packs of Virginia Slims a day, and drinks gallons of coffee with 30 packets of sugar in every cup.

So he’s not exactly a health freak. I sometimes wonder how Hate Man stays so healthy.  Some of it is good genes, of course.  But I think a lot of it is that he really gets off on being alive, gets a charge out of being the Hate Man, and wants to keep being the Hate Man for as long as he can.  That’s probably the secret.  The ole’ life force.

Of course, like everybody, Hate Man has had his health issues.  About 10 years ago Hate got deathly sick one day.  I could tell by his gray, ashen complexion that it was serious.  For some reason he couldn’t piss.  So they rushed him off to the hospital and they put a tube up his dick (I apologize for not knowing the correct medical term) and he’s been fine ever since.

And then a couple years ago he suddenly had a heart attack and fell down and passed out on the sidewalk.  Again they packed him off to the hospital and put a pacemaker in his chest. And within a week or two, he was back at his spot in People’s Park, smokin’ and drinkin’ and pushin’ just like usual.

Last night Hate Man said to me, with a trace of alarm:  “I’ve been pissing up blood.”  But he decided to tough it out.  Made it through the rainstorm last night, sleeping on the sidewalk under his special set-up of plastic tarps.

But this morning he decided to get his ass to the hospital.  “The doctor told me I have a yeast infection,” he said.  “Which is weird.  I thought only women got that.  But they gave me some pills and I’m already feeling better.”

I can count the number of 80-year-old homeless people I’ve known over the years on zero fingers.  But Hate Man will probably be the first.

Knock.  Knock.




  1. He definitely has a merry twinkle in his eye in every picture I’ve seen of him, like a Zen gnome. Perhaps he possesses the secret of cosmic existence…I ought to take a trip out to Berkley to ask him about it while he’s still on this plane of being.

    Comment by hardears pickney — November 22, 2015 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

    • In spite of his name, Hate Man is actually a very friendly person who loves to talk and socialize with people.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — November 23, 2015 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

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