Sunday, July 10, 2011

And yet again

And yet again. I’m running, working out. Decide to stop by the church, see what’s going on. There on the top step of the south doorway hb is sprawled out, asleep. An empty St. Ides 40 at his head. The Cacklelady squatting on the steps below him. I approach, to remind him he’s not supposed to be there during the day. And as I get nearer, I spot, I smell three fesh piles of human waste and congealed paper. And I lose it.
I tell him that he’s not supposed to be there during the day. And that I’m sick and tired of cleaning up shit. That it’s a church and shoud be treated wth respect. He gives me the who me ? routine. And Cacklelady is barking gone, be gone now, bye. And he’s trying to quiet her.  Must be someone else. Crack heads show up in the middle of the night. Some guy wth a bike. Have I ever seen him do it? 
And I tell him no but he is who I see, and the crap’s right there.  And I’ve had it. Sick and tired of it. I haven’t had to deal with this for seven months and will  not do it again. That if he’s there, he’s responsible. 
Why would I mess where I lay  my head? 
You don’t, it’s alwasy three steps down. 
Nah, all I ever do is lay my moitherfuckij head down, that’s it. You see me, you blame me, otherwise don’t. 
He’s sayin’ he don’t do it, the lady yells.
 And I say I don’t care, he’s the onl one i ever see, yeah and you. An if you’re here, you’re responsible 
How I sposed to be responsible if I’m asleep? he says. Then you stay awake and see, that’s how, I say, otherwise it’s on you. 
This is escalating. Voices rising. People outside of Barney Greengrass are staring. Waitin gto see what’sgoing to happen. Then he’s up in my face, so what you goin to do about it motherfucker? he demands.  And I get right back in his face, obviously not thinking very analytically. And I finish my angry explosion with, I’ll call the police  right now, that’s what I’ll do. And amazingly, he backs away. (I’ve come to learn that being usually super controlled, when I explode it can be scary.) Not wise to get into it with a potentially violent person.
I don’t have my cell phone, so I go inside to call 911 on the office phone. When I open the doors again, he’s gone. I head down to get the dehumidifier water and do this all over again. Stephen asks how I’m doing. And i tell him.  He sympathizes. But makes no move to join me. Not that I expected he would. It’s my job. 
Half an our later, soaked with sweat, I’m done. I see Stephen again. He invites me downstairs for a beer. I’m ready.
                                                   * * *
It’s late. It’s been a full night of a wedding in faraway Brooklyn and Huguette’s Sweet Sixteen, Hugo the proud father and host. As we near home, I realize that in the afternoon’s confusion I left my keys at the office, so I head back to the church. Someone’s waiting to be buzzed in. 
I head downstairs, out to the backyard. See Stephen again. Last time he saw me, I was in running shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. Now it’s a three piece suit and tie. He offers me a cold Brooklyn and we talk. A young woman joins us. Born in Cuba. She’s working on the intersection of indigenous religion and catholocism. Oh and how that connects with progressive politics Excited to talk to a real live minister. . This is a conversation that could go somewhere. But it’s late, Sunday comes soon.

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