THE HOBO HANDBOOK: MEMOIRS OF A HOMELESS POET IN NEW YORK
By Daniel Canada c.2010
“Skelsie” is a combination of the two words, “Skeksis” and “Skell.” Firstly, I need to explain what a “Skell” is. "Skell" is an abbreviation for skeleton, and is a terminology used by most police officers when referring to a homeless person.
Like a lifeless skeleton, with no hope of returning to the world of the living, they have come to view all homeless to be nothing more than mere skeletons. When you don a skeleton custom for Halloween, you're a “skeleton” for a night. The homeless are “skeletons” for life.
Now, a “Skelsie” or “Skelsy” is a "Skeksis"-or "Skeksy," as I like to spell it-that has become one of the living dead, a virtual zombie.
Are you confused enough yet? I hope not.
Nevertheless, they are considered to be the soulless ones, who may not even know they exist anymore than a person in a vegetative state, on a respirator.
Besides the fact that they have long-since given up on the upkeep of their bodies, they have very little communication with the outside world. You might see them in a rush hour crowd, starring off into space or holding a vigorous conversation with themselves. Their ship has lifted anchor and sailed away into the azure horizons many moons ago, friends.
This is what I mean by a "Skelsie."
Even the police leave them alone. And if they have to respond to some irritated neighbor's call, complaining about some crazed man or woman being a blatherskite at two o'clock in the morning, the police call an ambulance to take them to Bellevue Hospital or the nearest hospital that has a psyche ward. The polite police officers refer to these as EDPs, emotional disturbed persons. They really don't care to have any further dealings with them.
The “Skelsie” stands alone.
Now, I would like to further illuminate upon an otherwise, hither-to-unknown, homeless phenomenon. One that, would it not be for my drawing attention to it, would go unnoticed among the pantheon of homeless folks you pass on any given day of the week. It's a strange, eclectic group of homeless folks I dubbed "The College Kids." Even you will have difficulty wrapping your brain around this one.
(To be Continued...)