Big Mac

I’m used to being “Big Mac” but they already had one here. He has been tirelessly working on behalf of the car-laden to get their cars fixed for them and solicite donations to help others.

The catch? Big Mac is in a wheelchair.

He carts himself around and meets business owners and has convinced many to help…like with The Great Reynaldo’s currently dead Cadillac. How TGR’s car got dead is a story I am not allowed to tell – but he probably sorta brought it on himself and I only know this because I have done it myself.

Pic-10052014-001Anyway…without a full head shot…which I am also not allowed to do…this is Big Mac’s new (and utterly ridiculous) hat.

“I want me a corn-cob pipe to go with it!” He laughed. “Get me a corn-cob pipe Mac!!”

“OKay, I will” I laugh loudly. Then I bid on one yesterday on eBay. Least I can do…I mean really. I cannot get the thought out of my mind of his having that pipe and some good ole Cap’n Jack.

The poor steal from the poor and really few things on this Earth piss me off more. It’s one of the few times I get VOCAL and menacing.

When it happens I announce “I catch the M____F_____ who did this or I find someone doing this I will be ALL OVER YOU!” I growl.

It’s an empty threat as I am non-violent, but they do not know this and, frankly, I don’t care.

When my ex-girlfriend had a stalker I prowled the dark streets briskly in the long dark coat around her house at 4:30 till daylight to make certain if he was there in the shadows he could see what was going to come at him with speed and fury in a hurry should I ever spy him.

Once, early on, I felt his presence nearby. I announced what I would do if I caught him. Never sensed him again. I moved her out in one day to an undisclosed location (actually in hours). End of story.

But there are those at the shelter who are just the opposite. Big Mac used $168 of his disability check to get TGR a new battery for his car (after talking the guy down from over $300). This guy, who sleeps on a cot and is handicapped,  cones from about as far away a background from an urban Chicago black man as you can come. But he just decided to do it.

It is kind of like the people of Santa Cruz. Some of them reach out and prepare big meals and come out on a weeknight and dish it up – never asking even for a receipt for tax purposes. They show up week after week. Then their neighbors make sure to elect officials who will scapegoat the Homeless, look the other way when they are beaten by police or have their stuff confiscated and not returned – or have their cars mercilessly ticketed until they have to forfeit them.

Gee, I wonder what happens to all their “stuff” then?

We all have the capacity for good and evil in us. We all can be altruistic or selfish. We make choices. I have found that a lot of it has to do with the stories we tell ourselves. I hear myself telling TGR “That is the story you tell yourself,” but I really needed someone to tell me that a lot of years ago. Could I have heard it? Probably not – not prior to the meds. The meds made/make all the difference.

How many people at the shelter don’t really stand a chance because they have a mental disorder? I shudder to think.

And what stories do they tell themselves every day.

Me? I tell people different stories about themselves. True stories as far as I can tell. And I never blow sunshine up their ying-yangs.

In fact TGR and I were laughing last night about how I, 7-8 weeks ago came in and I had only the one pair of shorts, two pair of underwear, two shirts…and some very basic equipment.

A lot has changed.

More importantly, I know that I have a few people in front of me that I am called to walk alongside. A part of my story to tell myself was to forget my story and serve other people. That is it. And keep it simple.

Big Mac keeps it simple. It;s kinda nice to be second bill in that department for once.


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