Thursday, August 9, 2012

Enough crazy, enough addiction


Spend most of the day with P____ in Housing Court.  Dante's circles of hell. Hour by hour my anger rises. The sheriff delivered the eviction  notice yesterday even though the hearing was scheduled for today. The landlord's attorney and a young real estate woman are trying to establish the fair market value of the apartment P_____has lived in for 38 years.  Seems there's little the judge can do. P____'s attorney is fighting valiantly.  I feel the rage rising. Keep wondering if I should rise up and just speak out. Channel Nathan. At the last hearing, the attorney began by saying Just because something is legal doesn't make it right.   

While we're there, I hear an old Chinese woman from Chinatown, every bit as lost as P_____, on the verge of being evicted in a Chinatown gentrifcation hustle. A middle aged heavyset black woman keeps calling out for Jesus. Do you see what's going on here? the attorney says to me. They're out for every vulnerable person in a stabilized apartment. it's an all out assault. He manages to extend the hearing into October. But now, can he get a stay on the eviction? P_____still doesn't comprehend what is going on.  Keeps talking about lasers and cameras and....and God's will will be done. And I want to say, No, P______, no it won't. In the end, maybe. But we're not going to see it. This is NOT God's will. 

So I get back to the church, worn out by rage and a feeling of helplessness. This makes no sense. And I find Edward sprawled out on the steps. Flies buzzing about. An open 40 at his side. Edward, come on man, you know the rules. you can't be here during the day.  I'm sympathetic man,  but you can't be here.  

He rouses. OK, OK, I'm going. But doesn't move. Look , I say, I'm going for coffee. When I get back, be moving, OK?

And I go next door to Barney Greengrass for iced coffee. I'm a dollar short. Next time, OK? says the counter guy and I nod. 

I come back out and see Edward, standing up, wavering back and forth,  his penis out spraying the steps with urine. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I shout, somehow managing not to drop my coffee. He stares at me, continuing.

I call 911.  Come up on the steps with him. Teddy has heard me shouting and has come out to join me. 

Why you yellin at me?

No I'm not....I spilled my beer...
Nah, nah, look if somethin came outta me, wasn't intentional, right?
Teddy says, Look man, you can't be doin this. You just told me how much you appreciate this man.  This is disrespectful, got it?
OK,OK, I'm goin....
As he heads to the corner, he sees the cop car. Teddy points out the newspaper sticking out the back of his jeans. Dude's in bad shape, man.

Edward turns around , heads the other direction.  The car pulls over. The female officer opens her window. You called us?  
I say, yeah, and tell her what happened. She looks up Amsterdam, sees Edward turning the corner. I know him., she says. Edward, I say. He's a got a girlfriend  around the corner, she says. Charlotte, I say.  OK, I'll talk to him.
And they make their way north.

Teddy can see I'm shaking. Never heard you yell like that before, Bob. 

It's the day, I say. 

Teddy says, you did good. You called him out but didn't dis him. I respect that. 

Inside, I tell Danielle. She's upset. Jonah is waiting to speak to me. He comes in. Teddy comes in to say he found him wondering through the building again. I told you that part's off limits, OK? Don't play me....
I'm not playin' you, Jonah says.

I tell Teddy it's OK. I listen to Jonah's story. RL looks in, asks me to join him and his attorney at the Gate. I listen more to Jonah. On a journey to discover the meaning of life. Had to leave home. The energy of this place drew him in, there must be an answer here, a place to stay?

I want to say, Dude, not today. Wrong day. Wrong time. But I say, you're about 2-3 months too late for Occupy Wall Street. You would have fit right in. But not now. It's late. if you want to come back tomorrow, I'll listen to you play. But not now.

I'm done. I'm remembering my five day struggle cleaning shit off the steps every day last summer. Not going back there.  I've had enough of crazy. I've had enough of addiction.  Just let me talk to three normal people.  Just three....

I walk down the street to meet RL. Calm down. Later, I pass the church on my way to meet Jamie at the B. Teddy's outside. We talk, All is calm. For now. 

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