An open letter to the men who keep urinating in the alley

05/11/2006 8:18 PM by

Please don’t take this wrong way, but I’ve got a question for you…

One of the neighborhood behaviors that has surprised me the most here north of Venable has been how casually a pedestrian will stop and pee somewhere. I’ve seen this by both men and women time and time again in the alleys, at the street, and in the stairwell of the church across the street.

Recently the frequency of the in flagrante moments has picked up to maybe once a week. All other negative signs have been on the decline — I hardly ever hear gunshots, the hookers have really thinned out, and I haven’t had a crackhead offer to sweep my porch for $2 in quite a while… This pissing, though, seems ingrained.

I can’t help but say something when I see it happening, though I’m starting to think that it is a bad idea. At first the pissers were apologetic and would tuck and leave. They’ve taken to getting upset with me and I don’t want to get shot. All I can really hope is that they were too drunk to know where that annoying white boy was.

Which leads to my question, finally. I can understand having to pee, like, really bad. I’ve even used an alley now and again. The type of alley-as-bathroom going on around here is way beyond having to make an emergency stop. This looks to be culturally ingrained behavior. So I wonder — how and when did this become ok? Has Fairmount always been somewhere that is ok to just whip it out and go to town? Fifty years ago was this kind of thing common? 20 years?

I recognized the pissing man tonight. He used to live up the street in the boarding house that burned 18 months ago and still hasn’t been fixed. He used to pass by while I was working on the house. He was nice and usually drunk. He was drunk tonight. Yay for being drunk!

What changes this kind of behavior? Do we have to shut down all the corner stores? Wait for all of the boarding houses to finally burn?




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