Friday, February 18, 2011

For the love of God, sir, just go

It’s sunny and warm, almost 60 degrees as I open the doors. A dramatic person is sitting on the steps. Lean and tall, wrapped in a colorful blanket/poncho, walking stick at his side. Lean face,full beard looking like the skinny version of Dick Gregory. A bandana around his head and a top hat on top of that. Looking like a tribal dignitary from somewhere. I’ve seen him around the neighborhood before, just never on our steps.  I sweep around him and approach. “How you doing,” I ask. What follows is a torrent of words, anxious and incomprehensible. I lean forward, ask him again. I’m able to pick up, “Well, thanks to Jesus, well...” I tell him I’m having trouble understanding him. Another torrent follows. All I can hear is “Just go, sir,leave. For the love of God, sir, please leave ...” Eyes darting back and forth, anxious. “Don’t worry, it’s ok,” I say. “For the love of God, sir, just go...” I back off slowly. Take my broom, dust pan and plastic trash  back inside, close and lock the door. I will go, leave him in peace. As I walk by, he reaches under his poncho and brings out a quart of Ballantine ale. Looks left and right, takes a deep drink....

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