Monday, March 08, 2004

Wedding Bells Ring for Punky

My manager was having coffee at a popular neighborhood café this morning when Punky the bike thief prison recidivist (see Jan 29th entry for more details) promenaded by with a woman about 30 years his senior on his arm. The woman he was squiring about had the sallow, sunken looks and jerky gait of a professional junkie, and despite the unusual heat was modestly attired in a baggy long sleeved shirt, probably to cover her track marks and abscesses. They stood before the outdoor tables for a moment until Punky's special lady friend announced loudly to no one in particular, “We just got married!”

After sharing their news, the happy couple headed off to the park, I'm sure to celebrate their union by getting loaded and doing various things that will fill tourists with revulsion and amazement that a city in America tolerates that sort of behavior in its public spaces. Punky and his gang probably also make the Chinese trying to do tai chi in the park actually pine for the totalitarian regime from which they immigrated. I imagine you don't see a lot of people in China carrying on like Punky does in the park.

Junkies are not known for their veracity, so I’m not sure if they really are married. I don't see how the junky lady ‘scored’ Punky anyway, since it as well known fact that he is a gay hustler. As I understood it, his homosexuality is genuine and not just opportunistic or for professional reasons or a prison survival strategy. So, I’m not sure what Punky is up to. I believe California is a state with conjugal visits, so maybe he is just planning ahead for some companionship the next time he’s in prison, which I predict will be very soon.

Speaking of suspicious marital arrangements, there is a group of semi-homeless derelict men who are regulars in the park who belong to an immigration scam ring. Every five years or so these guys are cleaned up by this consortium and sent over to China to marry some female Chinese nationals desperate and willing to pay a lot of money for US citizenship. To fill their end of the bargain, all the men have to do is stay in China for a few months and not marry again for 5 years, and they are paid $5000 for their trouble. My manager has spoken to one of the ‘grooms’ who confessed that consummating the marriage is not part of the deal. I’m sure that the Chinese women would sleep with a knife to ensure this if they were ever forced to share a room for appearances. Even though the standards of the ring are not high, there is no way Punky would be eligible because even the most burned out, apathetic, corrupt INS agent would not buy that he legitimately married one of these women.

Elizabeth is a little hurt that Punky chose this day to get married, because today is her birthday and now Punky has stolen away some of her attention that she deserves for her special day, so let us all give our best wishes to both Elizabeth and the newlyweds.

And no, I'm not sure where Punky is registered, but I'm sure that the liquor store that gives him credit on the corner would like a cash gift to offset his tab.

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