From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]borderstan.com.
Borderstan, I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed when I walk up to my building to find a drunk, disheveled, drooling (or worse) person on the steps, barring access to my home. I know — picky, picky, picky!
The other day I ran into the same drunk on my front steps who I’d asked not to loiter there a few weeks before. Back then, he protested that he had a bad back and needed to rest because there are no public benches anywhere nearby. This is a fact, but so was the smell of booze coming off his breath and the empty hip-flask sized bottle of gin in his open bag. Not to mention that those cement steps were likely not providing significant support to his bad back. I pointed this out to him and asked him to stop loitering on private property. By the time I exited my building some minutes later, he’d left. Huzzah!
Fast-forward to yesterday and there he was again, on the front steps, drunk, drooling, spitting onto the steps (thanks, man, truly spectacular!) and blocking my way into the house. He was swaying so hard from side to side I could barely get past him. One of my neighbors must have called the police, because a short while later I heard noises and saw them getting ready to take him away.
These urban misadventures come with the territory, I suppose. But what I don’t understand is who sells the local drunks booze, lets them loose in the neighborhood, and why?! Maybe liquor store operators should be asked to enforce the same “no serve” policy as most establishments practice with inebriated customers? Because I doubt there’s much success in levying the $500 fine for an open container of alcohol in a public space on someone who’s essentially penniless (blood from a stone, no?).
Booze sellers know who the local drunks are, why can’t we ask them to no longer serve up that “daily dose” and spare the rest of us the dubious pleasure of dealing with their trash scattered in our front yards or left on our stoops after consumption, and equally unsavory behavior.