Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The cameras know: I don't believe in torture either


It’s a long conversation for first thing in the morning. As always, lots of ideas. Good ideas. Ideas that capture my imagination. And also hurt. Yes, it would be great to have Boxer Mike offer classes. But there’s the necessary clearance to work with children. And insurance issues...and...I need to have someone paying rent for something  in order to have someone pay no rent. And yes, it would be great if Marc could offer guitar classes.... (a really good idea..)..And yes, we should do reach out to the projects...yes...Many of these ideas I’ve thought of myself..but it’s hard to move ahead when you’re hanging by a thread.

The gang is on the steps. C’mon guys, time to get moving. They gather themselves up, begin to move. I’d like to know more about the thin girl and the semi sketchy white (Latino?) guy who hangs with her. Rob says his name is Steve. His brother. OK, what’s his story?

There’s a report maybe Cara came off on Rob. No man, we cool. She’s all right. We talk about sweepin. But that’s it. But I got other problems...and Rob lifts up his shirt to show me the burn marks. Clearly someone burned him with cigarettes while he slept. probably the day he was off the steps, on the sidewalk. Out. He looks up, across the street,  at the Belnord.  The cameras know, man, the cameras know, they see everything..and I look up and note the surveillance cameras shifting slowly left to right, tight to left, 180 degree arcs. Rob starts into cleaning again. My visitor is concerned. He needs help, she says. They’re going to get him. I say who. She looks at me. I suggest he go to the 2-4. He’s not down with that idea. 

A real estate guy comes in.Thinks the building's for sale. No, no, no...I say. But we may have some spaces for lease. He leaves his card. I tell guy he’s got to talk to Danielle.  

I head across the street for an iced coffee. Six squad cars lined up, lights flashing. A guy getting wrestled to the ground. Hog tied. Literally. There are many theories. Rob is there, selling cold water. Checking things out. He’s got several theories. A few include the liquor store. My favorite character looked like a regular guy in a Mets jersey and shorts. Turns out he’s a plain clothes cop. He’s got a gun in  his back pocket and a bulletproof vest under the Mets jersey. wish I could take a picture. (The Uni watch blog would love this.   Most creative use of a Mets jersey on the Upper West Side. In the Bean I hear a woman say, I hate crime, but I just don’t believe in torture...that was torture...Still wondering what went down.

Gregory. One of the many Teddy helped from off the steps back to regular life.  He's hanging in. (As all we are..) But needs subway fare to get home. All right, then...

I tell Danielle about the arrest. She’s visiting with Osy looking for space for her girls’ organization. 

I step out. When I come come back, Pastor Jim from Advent has walked in. He works up at Advent. Semi-retired. We traveled to Germany together a few years ago. The random trip that resulted in  my son Micah moving to Berlin. I show him the new baptismal font cover and tell him the story. We talk about Uli and sure enough, Uli calls. with reports on his recent kidney transplant. His feeling that he’s got a second chance.  And still dedicated to changing the world. I’m interested in  his upcoming Polish-German-Israeli-Palestinian  youth summer project. I’ve got my prefab critiques ready, but we’ll wait and see....

Good conversation with Glen. Another theatre guy who has to have day job at a Central Park beer garden to keep going.  A job that keeps him away from church. But remains  faithful. Working on a play about Betsy Ross and the persecutions from the church she endured. A story I don't know. RL maintains she didn't  actually make the first American flag. Knowing RL, he’s probably right. Glen has a great idea about another play reading festival here at West-Park. Then he’s off to see Superman: Man of Steel.  I wish I could go with him.

RL brings  his daughter Fred  in. It's her first visit and he wants her to get the whole tour. She’ an artist, a photographer, a creative free spirit. And aging one, just like me. She’s in that famous photo of RL form the 80’s where he looks like Ozzy Osbourne. I give her just the very briefest of talks about the place. Danielle and I trying to wrap things up.

Presbytery Cabinet (nee Council) night. Another night of ecclesiastical Guantanamo. There’a lot on my mind. I don’t believe in  torture either.

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