Today, taking my constitutional, I stopped at the thrift store. It's about at the halfway mark, and a nice reward for walking. There, browsing, or should I say, nervously twitching amidst the merchandise, was Ed, an old tenant. Ed lived in one of our buildings for years, until we sold it. His apartment was spotless, and, despite being under the long-term care of Mental Health, never disturbed anyone. But Ed had one weird habit: he cross-dressed. No, not like a drag queen, more like a disheveled old bag lady. Today's outfit consisted of a printed skirt and top, but two completely different prints, accessorized by a ratty purse straight out of somebody's grandmother's closet -- the top shelf, rear, where it hadn't been seen since 1950. He also sported a full, straggly beard, long stringy hair, and hairy legs shod in size 12 sneakers - no socks - hanging out below the hemline. He looked like an aging '80s rocker who crash-landed into grandma's closet. Yes, he was quite the vision.
There was a group of three people near the cashier, and, as Ed nervously made his way past them, one commented loudly "What the hell was that?". Not content to leave it at that, they went outside to watch and laugh as he made his way up the street. Well, I would've let their first rude remark go, but when they went outside for a better look, and to continue mocking, I spoke up. I told them that Ed was a nice guy, I'd known him for 20 years, and he was dressing that way before it was fashionable. I also pointedly told them that everyone has problems, but some are more visible than others. With that they all shut up.
But here's the best part: with the nearest food store over two miles away, they nonchalantly picked up their grocery cart, which had been curiously standing outside the store, and proceeded up fashionable Warren Street pushing it like three homeless bag ladies--correction: 2 bag ladies and 1 bag man -- sharing!
Seriously? And they were laughing?