Senior!? OMG!

Pic-01142015-008Senior!?

“One senior,” I said sliding the dollar toward the open machine on the bus.

“You’ve got to be joking,” the female bus driver said grinning, ”
how old are you?”

“I’m 57,” I said defensively. Then I realized she was flirting.

This is going to take some getting used to. I mean I am in a “Seniors Homeless Project at St. Mary’s. I can go to McDonalds and get specials. I ride the bus for a buck and when I went to the Goodwill and picked out a hoodie for $6.99 I tried it on them.

Is there a seniors discount?”

“Why yes there is.”

Hoodie was a little over $6 bucks.

I have real mixed emotions about this.

Okay, it helps that most of the women I go out with are in their early to mid 40s. Why you ask? Mid-life crisis (senior crisis?) Um no. Fact is I need someone who can keep up and is not winding down. You would have to admit I will be charging uphill for a good long while. None of this “retiring nonsense. I’m already planning on losing another 40 pounds. Why? because guys my size only last another 30 plus years if they are thin. Check it out, do the math.

Am I afraid to go now? Naw…happy to go anytime. I’m just not done yet. More trouble to cause. God has gone to a lot of trouble to keep me around and train me.

Is it possible that is alone (sans a partner? Yes. I give it odds at about 60/40 against. But that’s still pretty high.

******

Clarification of Non-Violence and Being Menacing

Being non-violent and committed to it does not mean being a doormat. And I know the distinction well. I was a doormat all my growing up (physically) and often relationally up through my 40s. I don’t do that anymore in any realm.

Take this morning. There is a loudmouth guy two cots over who likes to get into everyone’s business in the morning and is very verbally abusive and a semi-threatening way (certainly checks his body cannot cash).

Well this a.m. I am minding my own business, as I always do, quietly putting my stuff together and a little miffed at myself for not watching my stuff a little closer (my hoodie and my shaving kit have both been stolen). I walk off with my bag to deposit it on the far table and this guy pipes up about my cot saying (as he looks off NOT at me but off to nothing) “Pretty boy better get his bed put up or there will be trouble.”

Then he walks off to the locker room.

I never wait anymore.

I walk in and stand with one locker’s breadth between us to give him some space and growl low “I’m glad you know I’m pretty (pause) Best you mind your end of the street and let me mind mine.”

“Oh I wasn’t talking about you,” he stammers and tries to fill in with a bunch of nonsense blah blah blah.

I ignore. “Best to leave all of that to the staff as they seem more than capable,” I say and leave.

He is silent the rest of the morning.

No threat, no hint of violence. Just direct confrontation ASAP and if any implication at all it is that confrontation of this sort will be immediate ALWAYS. No fear.

It’s just not worth it. There is no “goodie” in it for them.

I wish I had learned this a LOT earlier in life. You cannot let things START. But I did not. I know it now and it is mostly for other people’s benefit now. Good enough.

*******

I landed at St. Mary’s because God sent two men to get me: Fred and Errol. I’m serious. Usually it is me who gets sent to go after folk – but I was lugging that huge bag and needed a case worker and all kinds of help and I had met Fred and Errol briefly one morning at Starbucks. Days later they got up at St. Mary’s and felt like “Hey..we gotta go find that Big Guy…he needs to come here.”

So they came looking for me – all the way from 22rd and San Pablo the the Starbucks on 8th and Broadway – and they found me and convinced me to come here. I had paid for that night at City Team but was NOT happy there. Same ole City Team addict mentality (which I suppose they really need to have but it really does not work for me – worse, I am almost completely out of money (last $38 and at $5 – and General Assistance still two weeks off minimum – well do the math). St. Mary’s is free).

In turn I am now able to help another brother (today) get into City Team.

It is amazing how people really do try and look after each other – the ones who are not looking to steal your stuff.

Now, at St. Mary’s I have a locker – so I am down to the backpack during the day and totally mobile. I got my Social Security card today and my replacement bank card (lost wallet) so now all I need is my denial from unemployment and 1) I can get my GA; and 2) I will be done with the bulk of my massive running around (still need a doctor). I can then finally begin the massive assault on getting a JOB (after 14 days of rigorously attacking the WALL that is the system.

Which means I am right on track. That is exactly how long it takes (and how long it took in Santa Cruz).

My spirits continue to be very high (no doubt bolstered by my visit with The Jedi Tuesday) but they were not low prior at all. I am content, making new friends and my stress level is very low.

People live is so much fear and only now – by having some of my worst fears realized do I see how really silly some of them are, and how little we really need to be happy. Of course many people have said this before – odd that so few people really believe them. Maybe you just have to see it for yourself. But I can honestly tell you, tonight my stress level is possibly lower than yours, and I might be happier and sleep better.

Weird huh?

Long term..I will need a bed, a good lamp to read by and some control over my own meals and life. But Jesus said to be content for today if we had food, some housing and what we needed for today. No one takes Him much seriously on such things – they pick and choose. They also don’t take serious when He said “the birds have nests and the foxes have holes but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Church people follow a Homeless man they would surely shoo-away from their services.

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