Recently, I had an encounter with the unexplained. A ghost threatened me. Actually, that’s not true. It was a man who threatened me. But he said he wouldn’t hurt me until he became a ghost. At least, that’s how I took what he said. Let me explain.
I went to Atlantic City on what I thought would be a VERYNORMAL!!! evening with my girlfriend for our two-year anniversary. It’s a great place to go when you don’t drink and the person you’re with isn’t old enough to do it. The part of the city that I saw wasn’t too flashy which is why a lot of old people go there. They don’t have to worry about their retinas burning out from all of the lights. The rickshaws on the boardwalk were mobile through the driver standing behind and pushing. All of the stores sold t-shirts with bad Jersey Shore sayings. The massage parlor women were pushy and would scream out “Massage” in a blood curdling voice whenever we passed by. I didn’t feel welcomed.
(Some hot Jersey babes at Atlantic City. Our governors might be fat, gay, and corrupt; our women are Gods in India!)
The night was winding down and we took a seat on a bench. That’s when I spotted a man begging for change. I’ve mentioned before how I feel about panhandlers. They’re con artists. You live in America. The country in the world with the most opportunity. Not only that, but this particular beggar on the boardwalk was a white male, probably around 35-40 years of age. Jack-fucking-pot! A white man in America, at an age where he’s old enough to have experience, but not too old where teenagers spray paint their band names on his back. He could become the next president of the country with his age, race, and sex. Everything is going for this guy. He’s won the birth lottery.
I saw him asking other pedestrians for money. I said to myself “Please don’t come over here. Please don’t come over here.” Hating me, the Universe sent him over into my direction.
“Can you spare a dollar?” he said hiding out in the shadows of the night sky. I couldn’t see his face. All I knew was that he was wearing a black hoodie and had a shaved head. Remember that last detail for later.
“No. Sorry. I don’t have any money on me. We just came here to walk around. We haven’t eve been gambling.” I figured, and now know, not to be friendly with these fucks. I tried to be cordial, saying why I did not have money. I did have money, but still I hadn’t been gambling. It was a half lie I guess.
He took a step closer to me. “How about a dime?” Suddenly, whatever he was going to buy, had plummeted in price.
“No sorry. I don’t have anything.” Right now in my wallet, that would be true. I have no cash there. But at that time, I had a few dollars. A few dollars I got from the ATM. The ATM that has a connection with my bank. The bank that gets my paychecks from my job.
He took another step closer. “Not even a nickel?” He was pushing it. For some reason, he thought that I would suddenly discover a nickel in my pocket. I had a nickel in my pocket. I had two in fact. At this point though, why would I invite this man closer to me? He was really living up to the name of beggar.
(A much more adorable beggar who has begging down to a science)
“No. I don’t have anything.” I finally said. I was really close to telling him to fuck off. That’s one of my dreams. To have a mugger approach me and tell me to hand over my wallet and I’ll tell him to fuck off. It’s a silly thing to do though as they might have a gun. Getting shot in the face isn’t worth being a badass in front of a homeless guy. He probably doesn’t even know who won the last season of Survivor. Out-of-touch-with-the-world putz.
The beggar began to laugh. “Thank you. Thank you. God bless you.” That didn’t sound so bad, but then, “I will remember this. When I leave this earth from this cancer I will remember this.” Oh, now you mention that you have cancer. Come over here you creep and I’ll give you a buck.
I said something along the lines of “okay” or “yep.” It was a hard thing to take in. I was in an unfamiliar place which is always scary. Now I was being threatened by a homeless man saying that he would remember this when he dies of cancer. It would have been excusable to shit my pants at that very moment. Luckily, I had already done it an hour earlier. Now I had an excuse.
The beggar left and continued to bother others for money. I didn’t see anyone give him anything. It’s tough to give money to someone who looks like one of your friend’s dads. Your friend’s dads managed to get a job. They managed to marry a woman that they don’t like. What’s different about this guy? For one, he’s an asshole. I’m not at an age where I have exposable income. The most expensive thing I wear are my $30 shoes and they’re only that expensive because they have Dr. Scholl’s inserts. Fancy man me. Maybe I should buck up and give 40% of my earnings to lazy people almost twice my age. I know not everyone has had it easy, but Jesus Christ there has to be something better than begging for money on a New Jersey Boardwalk a week before Halloween.
I can laugh about it now, sitting in my apartment and him not having enough money for a train ticket to get here or a map to get here or the money for the Internet fees to research me and where I live. I’m safe now, until he dies.
Remember when I said he had a shaved head? That was the only inkling to him even having cancer. The funny thing about that, why does a man with cancer have to go to a boardwalk on a Friday night and beg for dimes? He clearly has good medical insurance where he can find out that he has cancer. I have no medical insurance. I could have cancer, lupus, an ass full of anal fissures and have no clue about it. If anything, I should have been asking him about his health care coverage. I’ve told people before too that I had cancer just to get sympathy. It’s an old trick. I think Houdini invented it. Then they found out he was lying and killed him by punching him in the stomach. Houdini, the most famous magician in the world died from being punched in the stomach. This beggar has cancer and is still wandering about bothering me. He’s probably taken countless punches to the stomach and survived. There is no justice.
To say that he would remember that moment when he leaves this earth from his cancer isn’t as haunting now as it was then. It wasn’t even as haunting as soon as he walked away. I did my best not to laugh as soon as he turned away. Saying what he said, he would have to think I was very gullible. I’d have to believe:
1) That he isn’t a drug addict
2) That he actually does have cancer
3) That he will remember this
4) That when he does, someone will give him information on who I am
5) That the same person that gives him the information will give him the ability to go to where I am and haunt me
6) That there is an after life at all
I would need to believe in every single one of those factors for what he said to be true. For even one to be false would negate his ability to torture me from the afterlife. I don’t know, but I would think that God would think he was a douche bag for wanting to come back and haunt a guy for not giving him money and Satan would side with me in the first place for not giving him money. I’m in a pretty good position here.
I wish that man all the best in his money capturing ventures. I would suggest that he mention his fake cancer earlier in the conversation if he wants that to affect the outcome of his begging. You know what, when a beggar has a good story, even when I know it’s bullshit, sometimes I do give them change. This guy though, I hope he has a miraculous recovery from cancer. You clearly managed to have enough money to pay for chemotherapy, as your eyebrows were still intact. Maybe it was your whiskey voice that led me onto the fact that you were bullshitting me. Or that you don’t belong to one of the money organizations that do help people with cancer. Get your story straight stupid. And when you do die and come to haunt me, be prepared to watch me dance around naked. I intend to do that, for your entertainment.
(Bring it on ghost. I’ll be waiting)