Rick is California born and Arkansas raised. I honestly can’t say enough good things about the guy. He has a great sense of humor, delivered in a rat-t-tat style, with lots of swear words. He spent some time in Iraq with the army and is the kind of guy ideal for that situation. or on a sports, using his humor to keep the uptight, scared, competitive types loosened up and in the flow.
He was telling me stories about camel spiders from Iraq.
There were some college girls waiting for a bus not to far away and he was making sure they heard every word. The spiders massively swarm camels, suck out the blood and are huge from his description.
He also said he has a picture of him driving a hummer on top of his sergeant’s jeep. I am not sure I buy that; Rick is one of those guys, I think, that may insert himself into good stories he has heard some one else tell. At any rate after he told me about the hummer incident I asked if that was why he is no longer in the army.
Turns out Rick has pancreatic cancer and figures he will be dying pretty soon. He is only 26 but confided that he is absolutely scared shitless of dying. “Nobody can say that they are not scared about what happens on the other side, especially after some of the shit I have pulled.”
Rick is also a heroin junkie, and owns a very friendly pit bull. He has an ex back in Arkansas and a ten year old daughter. Rural areas kids in the South start having sex when there bodies are ready, unfortunately birth control isn’t generally used. But perhaps it is not unfortunate, the shape and scope of peoples lives are not ours to judge.
I got a little worried about him after I first met him, he basically didn’t get up for two days, But he is all right, said he was trying to kick the drug, but ended up caving in. He asked me to get him started selling Street Roots so I took him down and signed him up. It did a complete turn around in his attitude, he hated panhandling, and he is a great salesman.
This is an obit I wrote for Street Roots a homeless newspaper in Portland. His real first name was Jake.
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