Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expecting at least a twenty

Hajee comes in looking for money. I remind him that we as a church have little money and I individually have little in  my pocket. I reach and take out  a five. It’s all I’ve got. I was expecting at least a twenty from you, he says.
 It’s all I’ve got, I reply. (And it was.)
 I’ll come back later for more. Just leave it with her, he says, gesturing toward Danielle. I look with incredulity. He leaves. 
Actually, I do go out at lunchtime and pick up a twenty. But he never comes back.  I do call SPSA. Yes, he did live there. In the youth room. Finally, the one on the other end says, And yes, we kicked him out. 
Why? I ask. 
Kept bothering the pastor for money.
 Oh, I say.
 Don’t give him anything, the voice says. He’s got to go somehere that can really help him. 

An annoying cold call from Texas trying to sell youth group packets of some type.. And then one of those outsourced gas/electirc companies trying to save us money. Reading a script  from somewhere inIndia. My blood pressure is rising.  We just need to...
When are those who train telemarketers going to understand? Never ask someone you don’t know how are you today?  It’s a dead giveawy. I know from those wordds on nothing good is going to happen and I start to go to resistance. Every time. 
A young man in a suit walks in. He’s an office supplies salesman. Wants to know who’s responsible for ordering supplies. I point to Danielle. She is, I say. She is not amused. Later he will come back for a shoulder bag he left behind. 
A latina woman comes in. Looking for food. Me siento mucho, hermana. No tenemos  alientos aqui. Se necesita ir a St. Paul y St. Andew at 86 and West End.  Dos bloques de aqui. Hay alimientos alla. 
She thanks me and is gone. 
Sarah calls. More contract questions.  One last look at the press blurb. I’m ready to be done  with this.  Hours spent on budgets and business plans. 
I look outside. The prophet is there with African print cloth wound round him. And little else. Dressed for summer, Danielle says.  His little straw hat on his head. And today he is wearing sun glasses. And smoking a cigarette.  When I come back an hour later, only an empty Ballantyne 40 remains.  

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