Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chicken and rice from the halal truck


All day long the beautiful sounds of Ethel filling the sanctuary. (

Martin and Stephen. Numbers. Ideas. If you work at it long enough, does it come together?

Robert drops in wearing his blazer and tie. One of our St. Agnes volunteers from last semester. Looking for a recommendation. I ask where he’s going to go to school now that the diocese is closing St. Agnes. It’s sad. Catholic school was always there, in poor neighborhoods, as well as better off, to provide an affordable alternative to ghetto schools or the $40-50,000 a year private schools of the upper class. But they’re disappearing year by year even as the immigrant population that could benefit from them continues to grow. (Catholics in our neighborhood doubled in the last census -- most of them Latino)

A phone call from an attorney derails our day. Many bureaucratic loopholes, state and church, before we can accomplish the much needed sale of our manse. It’s a legal and political labyrinth. We gather Marsha, Stephen, Nancy to develop a strategy to work our way through  successfully.  It’s the net under the tightrope. (And what I need to get a new place to live.) It all begins wit a church meeting this Sunday. Our days will be filled until then preparing reports and resolutions. We each have our assignments.

The man in the wheel chair is back. Stephen and I go to talk to him. He’s had an accident. Asks for time. And for something to drink. Of course, Red Bull again.

I’m going to meet a friend for  movie. I remind him that he promised he would be leaving. Don’t you have a place to stay? Didn’t the people who got you the wheel chair get you a place to stay?  He shakes his head vehemently. I am not going to a shelter. No. It’s no place for a wheel chair. They knock you off, steal your stuff. I am not going to a shelter. 

Stephen  and I go back in. It’s sad. But he can’t be there hour after hour. Danielle will try to connect with Reachout.

Back after my second viewing of Frances Ha. ( It’s a beautiful black and white movie about young adults in New York City.)

The man in the wheel chair is still there.  I say, You told me you’d be gone...
.But it’s night time, please until tomorrow. 
Man, you can’t stay here 24 hours. Not here. We’ll work with you. My name is Bob. What’s yours?
He looks at me, surprised. I thought you knew me, Sean.
Oh no. Damn, Now I get it. Thought it was strange to have two men with no feet around. Sean who Teddy saved. Got to the hospital. To rehab. To a chair and I thought prostheses. And housing. He was so together. But now....barely recognizable. What happened? My heart aches.
Look, I’m hungry. Could you get me some food?  
What do you want?
Chicken and rice.
So I go down to the halal truck and get him a dinner. Bring it back. The morning, OK, Sean?
OK. Thanks. 

Stephen and Cara are headed out. Work and dance classes done. 

See you tomorrow. Peace. 

I tell Los Rodriguez to help Sean out in the morning before they leave.  They nod. 

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