Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Santa Monica homeless man used to work as an accountant.

Difficulty: 0

- Right now I have been homeless since May.

That's whatever it is. Six months.

So I do not know what you want me to focus on see.

- [Mark Horvath] What is your story?

How ..

- It's a long and involved and complex story.

If I was trying to tell my whole story it would,

we wouldn't have time.

- [Mark Horvath] Okay. Well what are the issues?

- How much, let me ask you this, first,

wait, What's your name?

- [Mark Horvath] My name's Mark.

- Mark. I'm Larry. How much time do I have

to tell you this?

- [Mark Horvath] Ten minutes.

- Ten minutes.

- [Mark Horvath] Less than ten.

- Really.

- [Mark Horvath] So what are the issues?

What do you feel? How do you survive?

What the city can do. How you got here.

What you think of the weather. You know.

Whatever you want Man.

- You want to ask me questions.

- [Mark Horvath] No. If you feel comfortable.

If that is how you want to do it.

- Well then you will be able to elicit the

information that you are most interested in,

which is your project.

- [Mark Horvath] Well yeah. But I want to ,,

- I do not know what you would most like to hear about.

- [Mark Horvath] Okay. Well I want to hear about ..

- Ask me questions, then I can respond, and you

can follow up if I am going in a direction that you

are more or less interested.

- [Mark Horvath] Okay Larry. I see you are out here

drying your clothes. Did it get wet here last night?

- No no. As a matter of fact I, this is a very, for a

person carrying a bag, a homeless person, a suitcase

or any kind of bag, one of the critical mistakes

that can be made is to put a bottle into the bag

that has has not been fully closed.

It is a mistake that I have made many times and

I am very aware of it as a possible problem,

and I am always, when I am focussed, like in a Zen mode,

I close these things really tight.

Now I was having so many things happening this morning.

I was talking to people, I just didn't pay attention,

I had a whole bottle of soda, of Coke and lemonade.

A full bottle of it then I did not close the cap

quite completely, put it in here, and the whole

thing spilled.

Fortunately, my things were set up so it spilled

down the side of my suitcase that's broken and

its broken and most of it spilled out.

But some of my clothes got wet.

- [Mark Horvath] Yeah. How do you survive out here?

- I survive primarily by finding food, and I must say

gourmet food. Especially in LA,

in the rich parts of LA,

New York, also all the rich areas of New York

where I was homeless before I got here.

Been homeless since May. Couple of months in New York,

since July 9th out here.

I eat frankly, Mark,

like I was a millionaire. If I was a millionaire I would not

eat any better probably than I do right now,

because I find that the food that the millionaires

only partially eat. They leave containers.

Sometimes they leave them out for you.

When I first came, when I was first homeless in '97,

it was my second period of homelessness, when

I first to LA as a homeless person. Back then

people were leaving containers of food all over

the city for the homeless. I felt it was such a

cool and compassionate thing for people to be doing.

They would eat part of, part of what they wanted,

and leave the rest, not in a trash can

but by the side of the trash can,

or on a wall for homeless people

and made people sort of do that.

A lot of people put it in the trash. I want a project

to be instituted by the cities worldwide to create

little racks next to trash cans all over the city,

where food and beverage that is not being eaten, or clothes

or anything valuable can be left for homeless people.

So they do not have to rummage through trash cans

and make a mess.

- [Mark Horvath] That's a great idea.

- It is a good idea. And I have talked to some

people about it, and I would like to see a

non-profit group start to raise money to begin

to do that.

One of the many projects I am interested in.

- [Mark Horvath] So you keep on coming out to the

streets. What causes you to live out here?

- Well I simply.

I have not worked at a job since 2002.

I have been on Welfare for the last six, five years,

no been on unemployment for a year and then

on Welfare for five years.

So when you are on Welfare, you cannot afford,

now when I was in New York I was living in my

mother's house rent free.

I was paying her $100 a month for rent out of my

$400 I got from Welfare.

Um, Here I get $220 I mean, you get $220 a month

in cash, again, rent, a place to live.

You have to use, I spend that money sometimes in a day.

I have got so many things to buy, and I party

when I get the money you know. And I give

it to people, we party together. I mean I spent,

when I got my foodstamps for the first time a couple of

months ago, I spent a day up in Castle Mall with a

bunch of homeless friends and spent about $60.00 on

a picnic for us you know I mean.

There is a great generosity amongst homeless people.

It is not like, what you see, except amongst the

best friends of people who have money.

You know, we just, when a couple of people are

really tight, and they are really cool,

it's joint. Like spicily joint.

Everything is a family thing.

If I have got the money today, I pay.

Look I have homeless friends up in Hollywood,

a really cool brother, Glen. He gets $1,000.00

a month. When his $1,000.00 comes in,

it don't last more than a few days sometimes

because he takes care of the needs of

the whole community there.

This is the way it is with homeless people, who,

he has been on the street for fifteen or twenty

years now in Hollywood.

Him and Carlos, his best buddy, about 25 up there,

the fathers of the MJelrose/Fairfax Hollywood

homeless scene.

They are extremely sophisticated cool human beings,

who know how to live happily on the streets here

and have for many many years.

They both get SSI, they get $1,000.00 a month.

They say it is not just for them.

But then when other people's money comes in and they

have nothing, people take care of them.

It's a back and forth thing.

- [Mark Horvath] What did you do when you worked?

- I was an accountant for 22 years, from 1980 to 2002.

- [Mark Horvath] You are the second accountant that

I have talked to today.

- Really.

- [Mark Horvath] Out here.

- I was a Head Accountant.

I was a Controller for three different organizations

and I was also, I did temp work for the last seven years

of my career, after being fired a couple of times.

Not for anything I did, but just because some evil

people who wanted me out, for their own selfish purposes,

and they lied about stuff I did.

I lost a couple of jobs and after those firings

I was 47 years old at the time.

Real hard to get another job, another full time job

when you are that old, and you have been fired

a couple of times in two years.

I got fired in


and also in '95 by the

same kind of low-down characters.

You know we are sure all over the business world.

People who, the second person who fired me,

she was the administrator of a law firm and when

she came in, she boasted about how she got to

where she was by stabbing people in the back.

Openly, just admitted that she was just an evil bitch.

You know, so when you are dealing with someone like that,

what chance do you have?

- [Mark Horvath] You have got about two minutes left.

- What else would you like to know?

- [Mark Horvath] I would like to know about Larry.

- Well Larry is 62 years old next Sunday.

- [Mark Horvath] Wow. What are you going to do

for your birthday?

- I don't know. Hopefully celebrate with

my new friend James, who I just met and is one of

the coolest people I have met here.

We will do some weed if my money will last.

I am getting money on Wednesday, and gonna spend a

lot of it on marijuana, and with you, try and use it very


I am going to go over to Topanga Canyon and try and meet

some of the old hippies up there, and see if we can have an

old time, you know, being , kind of spirit.

Which is what really is still on the streets here.

I mean It is like 60's being,

You know, where people just hug and everything was shared.

You know, like Woodstock.

- [Mark Horvath] Well I know when I was on the streets,

I had to forget it. I could not go a day sober.

- Yeah well I can.

I don't need to do any of that.

I rarely get high or drink.

I mean I don't have the money for it.

I just, and I don't need it.

I don't beg money almost ever.

I mean I might beg a dime or a nickel if I am

short something. If I need to buy cigarette papers

and I am a quarter short I will ask somebody for a quarter,

but that's about it.

I do not go around, there are people who make $100.00 a day

or more just sitting there with a begging sign in the city.

I have known a number of them.

A number of people make more than that.

That to me is abusing the position of being a

homeless person. I mean, you, it is a racket.

I am homeless. I am going to ask you for what I need.

I am going to try and find it first myself.

I am a forager primarily. As a homeless person I forage.

I try and find the resources that are left on the street.

I work.

- [Mark Horvath] So how long do you think you will be

out here this time?

- Until I meet a person who will lend me $10,000

to start the business I want to start. A car,

buying cars here and selling them in New York City.

Buying used Mercedes and BMW's actually here and selling

them in New York.

- [Mark Horvath] Your final thoughts.

You have got about 15 seconds.

- My final thoughts.

I thank you very much for the conversation. I enjoyed it,

and good luck to you brother and your friends.

The Description of Santa Monica homeless man used to work as an accountant.