Living on the streets aint all that bad, says Keith, stationed at his usual corner in Ocean Beach hawking his handmade bracelets, anklets and necklaces, but he says it aint all that good, either.
Lets just say its tolerable, he says. I havent been able to make a penny yet today, and Im getting hungrier by the minute.
Aside from not knowing where his next meal is coming from, Keith says the worst part about being homeless is not being able to sleep on the beach. He took a bus to San Diego from Maryland a few months ago to meet up with his ex and his kids, but things didnt work out, so he headed for the beach, where he thought he could chill out while he got things together. It didnt take but a night for him to realize that San Diegos beach communities dont take too kindly to people wanting to camp out in the sand.
You cant sleep anywhere round here, he says. Most of the time, I end up sleeping sitting up.
Keith says he doesnt do drugs and he doesnt have a hint of mental illness. The way he explains it, hes temporarily homeless because of unexpected circumstance. This isnt the first time hes been on the streets, so he doesnt want to check himself into a shelterhe knows eventually hell find a job and get his life together.
Ill do anything, he says. Ill sweep your floors.
But, he says, reaching into his gray hoodie to pull out thick dreads that hang down to his waist, look at me. Its tough to get a job. When you dont be what people want you to be, and when you dont look how people want you to look, lets just say it makes things harder.