The other day I was walking down Fairfax, just south of Melrose, midday on a Friday, on my way to a meeting. I had grabbed an apple on my way out of the apartment - between Robyn and I, we usually try to maintain a nice big bag of organic apples in the wide, rustic wooden bowl on the dining area table. I'm not an organic fascist- several years ago I NEVER thought about organic, thought it was insanely expensive, pretentious preciousness for control-freak foodies with a little too much money and not enough common sense. But then I realized two things- one, I don't actually want weird harsh chemicals like pesticides in my body, building up over time, and two, a lot of organic produce also happens to be high quality and just tastes really good. Like apples. So anyway, I'm struttin' down the sidewalk, with my apple that's now probably more than 75% eaten, and as I near the meeting building, a freaky, wired homeless guy, skinny and full of electrical energy, like a Jim Carrey character covered in a layer of scruff and wearing clothes that seemed too small on him, glues his site onto my apple. Instantly and with some kind of instinctive sense, I hold the apple at just the right height, his palm swipes across toward me, and we do a perfect hand-off. Simultaneously, his eyes light up like a man seeing an meteorite of gold fall from the sky and he declares "A potato!!". He whips that bare remains of an apple into his mouth and takes a bite. It seems to please him, he finds it to be good. I love this guy. He is eating the last bit of my food I would be chucking into the bushes and is making me feel like a great humanitarian at the same time. If I'd known about this, I would've brought a whole apple just for him, maybe two. Exactly as this was going down, a trio of cute, thin, leggy girls were treading the sidewalk southward from Melrose. They had the aura of suburban girls perhaps in their late teens or barely 20, looking a little bit Sunset Strip clubby or fashion model-esque. They struck me as the kind of young women who make a real point of hitting multiple modern apparel stores on the Melrose Strip and who must certainly drive a sparkling new VW sedan or perhaps even a Mini Cooper. For a minute I did wonder what they would think of this interaction, this stranger grabbing and eating my apple core, which he claimed to have thought was a potato. Maybe they would have thought "What a nice guy, to give the homeless crazy man his apple." Or maybe they thought "Yuck! How could you just trust someone else's germs?" If times ever get much tougher, this guy, with his eager sidewalk scrounging, is a huge step ahead of all of us.
I am Adam Gropman, the only such-named person on Earth, I Googled it. I see and hear things and like to share my perceptions with you.