Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All I Did Was Shoot My Man

All I Did Was Shoot My Man is the fourth novel in Walter Mosley's new Leonid McGill mystery series. Leonid or LT was a homeless youth, hiding in the shadows of Central Park, unafraid, ready, willing, able to shoot to kill if anyone tried to harm him.

Some homeless mentions:

"The rhyming young men were dirty, probably high, and likely homeless..."

"Tourists and homeless persons, businessmen and business women, prostitures and policemen, al there together proving that the melting pot was not only a reality but sometimes a nightmare."

"The German nurse had fallen in love with the old guy even though she thought he was nearly homeless."

Seeing a man sitting in the doorway of a boarded-up building LT surmises:

"I say he looked like a homeless person because, even though he had the clothes and state of dishevelment down pat, he wasn't doing anything; not sleeping or reading, drinking or eating, riffling endlessly through his belongings or engaged in an endless diatribe with some imaginary friend--or enemy."

Then LT observes that the man does not have any belongings "or backpack or grocery cart filled with the necessities and diversions that all humans (homeless or homed) need to survive."

Riffling endlessly, oh how that sounds like me. NYC homeless might be different than Long Beach homeless; not all have the carts, backpacks or black trash bags or plaid bags given to homeless by some Los Angeles Shelter.

One guy never carried anything, ever, just wore the same clothes on his back ~ shorts and a t-shirt, exchanged for different ones, old discarded. I often wondered about that guy ~ I was always freezing, but the extreme temperatures did not seem to affect him at all. Not sure I saw him when pouring rain. Others, like Eddie and his crew, hid their sleeping gear and other stuff in bushes, maybe keeping a small bag with them.

They lost everything more than once when beach cleaning crews cleaned up around the bushes, discarding everything. Some of the cleaning crew, would warn Eddie ~ a fixture at the Alamitos beach area ~ that the stuff was going to be thrashed, to give him time to grab his stuff until cleaning day was over.

Mosley's description also had me thinking of a man whose name escapes me. He was among those who wrote to while away the time. Lists of numbers, pages and pages of them. Others did more normal writing, such as their memoirs, poems or attempts at song lyrics.

There were also people like Dupree who had a storage bin and seldom carried anything with him. When he did it was a small backpack or shaving kit type bag.

I was disappointed that I finished reading All I Did Was Shoot My Man. Perhaps I should start re-reading the Easy Rawlins series. Or find another author who spins a tale like Mosley does. He is the best.

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