He kinda had it goin’ on, standing at about 5,11’, with thick wavy, naturally dirty blondish hair. His doe-shaped eyes were bright blue with long curly copper-colored lashes. His perfect teeth were unnaturally bleached into one of those annoying winning smile. His face was more rounded than chiseled, but his tan was always the perfect shade with trimmed stubble that grew lighter at the tips. He had a nice body, which he displayed in the usual West Hollywood uniform of a tight tee with low rise jeans. He had a quiet air about him, which I found kind of snooty.
He worked around the corner from where I live, in one of those fancy weho haircutting boutiques that make you look like a fluffy muppet for $100 a pop (tip not included). We ran into each other everywhere, so I decided to introduce myself one day while we both waited to cross the street, but he was so aloof that I didn’t bother to memorize his name.
I’m telling you the guy appeared to have his shit together. He must’ve been an aspiring model or actor at some point, because I once recognized his bleached smile on a postcard that advertised headshots for a bargain price—then fast forward to the day when I notice those familiar doe-shaped bright blue eyes looking up at me from a badly sunburned face, a dirty blonde beard and severely cracked lips. He resembled one of those Anglofied paintings of a crucified Jesus Christ—but much hotter—with overgrown matted hair that was parted in the middle and covered in twigs. His sweater was shredded at the sleeves and his jeans were baggy and grimy around his suddenly slender waist. He didn’t recognize me while he dove into a trashcan…just a few steps from the boutique where he once worked.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? The guy was down and out in a matter of weeks. He didn’t just look weather beaten. His eyes were touched…like he was someone else…like he had crossed over…like his body had been snatched. The man lost all his poise. I did a triple take. It was him! It was really him!
He turns up on Santa Monica Blvd regularly now. He’s known as the homeless hot guy. I find it interesting how when you’re hot and homeless in West Hollywood, you don’t really go hungry. Queens trip over themselves to hand him blankets, food and he has inherited some old designer threads. One guy even gave him an old portable CD player, which I guess was pretty generous. Never mind the other—less attractive—homeless folks that litter Santa Monica Blvd. begging for a Subway sandwich, this particular guy has pretty white teeth, you see. He is one of our own…or I should say he’s too close to home.
I don’t know if he suffers from schizophrenia, if he had a nervous breakdown, or if he’s a casualty of drug abuse, but whenever I see him talking to himself, or snarling at some ghost from his past, I can’t help it, I totally relate to this guy. He symbolizes something far too personal. We could so easily walk in his shoes, can’t we? One moment we could be fine upstanding, self-sufficient members of society, and the next moment…SNAP! POOF! We become someone else; someone who isn’t all there; someone who lost his grip. This guy totally reminds me of our daily struggle to keep it together. Every day we do what must be done to hold on to the little that we have, and yet it’s so damn easy to lose it all just…like…THAT!!!
The whole thing is pretty sad. I doubt it, but I hope the guy snaps out of it. Hopefully he hasn’t reached the point of no return. Hopefully his family, or friends will turn up and take care of him. I sincerely hope he’s able to make it out of his own head. I kinda miss bumping into his snooty bright blue eyes at the local Trader Joe’s grocery store. I’m rooting for him.
Oh yeah, that reminds me…I gotz to pay my rent.