Generally I like to think of myself as the “secret homeless.” Someone that doesn’t look or act homeless. And you would walk right by me and never guess I was homeless. Because I look normal just like YOU. You abnormal fucks.But I guess not tonight. Probably because I’m sitting on cardboard matting. And am wearing a heavy overcoat. And I’m wearing a ski-knit hat (classic homeless bum look).

So these three young women that have been hanging out in the patio across from me suddenly approach me. And they’re bearing a bag of to-go food. As an offering to me. So I immediately can tell what the scenario is. These kindly do-gooders with their hearts in the right place want to offer this poor pathetic homeless bum some food.

Which is nice. I appreciate the gesture. But I’m already 20 pounds overweight. And I don’t need the extra food.

“You like?” says one of the women offering me the food.

“No. No. I’m fine,” I said. “I’m just sitting here charging my cell phone. But thank you very much.”

“We’re from France,” said the woman. “Don’t understand English.”

“Oh,” I said. “Thank you thank you. But no. No. I’m good.” I’m trying to simplify my communication.

“Oh oh,” she says.

“But thank you, thank you,” I said. “Gracious.” (I don’t know any French but figured they’d know that one). “

They smiled and started to leave.

“Ciao,” I said. Is that French? Close enough. They smiled and headed off.

Ha ha.

This article originally appeared on Ace’s blog, Acid Heroes.

Ace Backwords is a homeless writer and artist who lives in Berkeley, California. You can find more writing on his blog.