My professor said that the following was a good character study when I read it out in class. Here it is:
Over the past few weeks, I realized that the majority of my awkward social interactions take place at where I work — the Blue Shirt Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville.
Davis Square, for those who haven’t been, is a quaint little place. It’s near Tufts and is situated between the suburbs and the city. This lends the place to be a weird mix of people. There are the residents, the families whose children goes to the local junior high and high schools. They are normal folk. Then there are the “young professionals,” the gaggles of stylish college kids and the hip lesbians. Everything’s… quaint. Especially when it gets warm. Everyone gathers out in the square to celebrate, joining in ritualistic dance and song.
The last category of people that reside in Davis Square are the crazy, drunk, and homeless, primarily because there’s a halfway house/shelter up the street.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the crazy, the drunk, or the homeless. BUT when they come in to the place you work and haggle you, it’s a different story.
First, there’s Joe. Joe changes hair style and clothes along with his personality. He is one of the infamous ones in the square. He’ll yell at you if you don’t bum him a cigarette, and sometimes think he’s a gangsta and draws a black tear on his eye. One time, he almost shaved all his eyebrows and wore a Hilter-like mustache. Another, he tried an antiquated newspaper boy look. But remember, his personality traits change with his style. Most of the time, he’ll “hi miss/sir” you and follow you around. Local Davis Square residents think he’s schizo. Once, he came in and asked me for our bathroom key (which we’re not allowed to give to non-customers). Despite explaining this to him, he begged me, “Yes, miss — but, miss, I need to leak my weasel! My weasel needs to be leaked, miss! Miss, please, I need to leak my weasel! It’s so big!” I lost my appetite and I didn’t eat lunch that day.
Second, there’s Mike. He’s deaf from age and goes around yelling at people, spitting in the process. He comes into the cafe and threatens to hit us cashiers. He pretends his fingers are a gun and aims at us. He’s the aggressive one. I think once, he brought in raw meat into the store and knawed on it in the corner. We had to call the cops because he wouldn’t leave. His most memorable attack was when he hit and threw our 70-something-year-old boss into the wall. We called the cops. That day was no good. It was tense in the store all day.
There are many more after these two, but the person that irks me the most at work is Bill. Bill is the most put-together crazy homeless man in Davis Square. He has a “job” and owns a bike. He keeps his clothes clean and when he talks to you, he makes sense. He gets in to your personal space to ask for money, but he means well.
That’s as far as I got to in class. Visit Davis Square if you ever get the chance. Despite what I wrote about it, it’s one of my favorite places in the Boston area. Stop by at Diesel Cafe for coffee and a sandwich or at Buffalo Exchange for cute recycled clothing. Also, the Foundry is a great place for nice craft beers and great cocktails.