Previously in this thread , not being able to swallow any suggestion that Rorschach might take money or valueables from the criminals he catches (due to his inflexible personal moral code), I posted the hypothesis that he made his living by roaging through trash, that is to say, obtaining money scraped from loose change found in old clothes and/or from selling reusable or recycleable items. This is in perfect agreement with the following facts:
- His very modest lifestyle;
- His nearly constant foul smell;
- The foul smell of his apartment;
- His habit of scavaging items and taking them (an extension of the trashcan behavior);
- His various references to knowing the hidden, ugly, underbelly of the city.
- He actually hid his uniform and face" among the trashcans in an alley once;
- He is only found with loose change on him.
The only actual evidence I could offer at the time, however, was his journal entry for October 21st, 1985 (Watchmen V, page 11, frame no. 7):
Passers-by made various deposits: candy wrappers, newspapers, a pair of keds strangled by their own laces, tongues lolling out horribly. This city is an animal, fierce and complicated. To understand it I read its droppings, its scents, the movement of its parasites I sat watching the trashcan, and New York opened its heart to me.
The word "deposit
" as a description of the items people threw away in the garbage can is the key point.
However, I believe I have found much stronger support for my hypotesis that Rorschach's "day job" is basically foraging through trash. It is a series of tiny details in frames from Watchmen V. Particularly:
- In frame 5 (center frame) of page 12, we can see in the background Rorschach with his sign leaving the Gunga Diner towards the trashcan;
- In frame 9 of page 12 (bottom right frame) we clearly see him in the background stooping over the trashcan going through it's contents;
- In frame 4 of page 17 (middle left frame) we see Rorschach in the background walking not FROM, but TOWARDS the trashcan while holding up his sign;
- In frame 6 of page 17 (middle right frame) we see Rorschach walking in the foreground holding his sign and still going in the direction of the can;
- In frame 8 of page 17 (bottom middle frame) we see Rorschach in the background bending over the trashcan once again;
- Finally, in frame 1 of page 18 (top left frame) we see Rorschach retrieving what he thinks is a note from Moloch.
We know Rorschach enter the Gunga Diner shortly after waking up (11 am), goes straight to the trashcan, then goes somewhere briefly (perhaps around the block) and then approaches the trashcan a second time from the other side, until he finally dives into the trashcan a third time, now in the evening, to retrieve the note. In the space of a few hours, he went through the contents of the trashcan three times. Far too much to be accounted simply by any eagerness to hear from Moloch (which likely does not even exist since he does not mention it).
Also, reviewing this stuff, I noticed another small detail I had passed before: the only thing Rorschach buys in the Gunda Diner is a cup of coffee, nothing else (though he does play with the mustard to make a Rorschach figure on a menu or napkin).
From all of the arguments and evidence above, it seems to me like case closed: Rorschach made a living out of trashcan diving!
What do you guys think? Below I give you a collage with all the six frames I mentioned above shown in sequence.