Shortly after 10am, outside the local bahn mi shop, a block from the mill, where I phoned in my lunch order:
"Any spare change?"
" Hey, Gino."
You asked me for shit this morning. Enough already, yeah?
We 'fist bump'.
What you doing now? shouldn't you getting some sleep?
"Where ever I can."
Dude, grab a spot and close yer eyes.
"Where ever I can."
"Why are you here again?"
"They got good sandwhiches."
That's it, though. Rest of the week, no more, yeah?
Tween you and me, OK? It's Our Thing.
"I won't tell"
Cross yer heart?
I'm not complaining about any of this. For lack of understanding a better way, we set an arbitrary age limit. It's all good.
In recent years, and most recently Sandy Hook and some tragedy that occurred in New Mexico over the weekend, we have seen terrible mass shootings, usually involving a certain class of semi-automatic firearm.
Now, we got this rush to 'buy all the guns you can' before Obama 'takes them all', because, face it, President Obama and some other politicians (who're really smarter than the rest of us) remain focused on the means of massacre instead of the cause of massacre.
Every one of these shooters, and you can walk it back to every single case, was suffering from a previously diagnosed psychiatric disorder. So, after talking big about restricting gun freedoms for all, the next move is to mention something like..."Oh yeah, and we'll promise more money to care for nut cases, too."
Strange... that money never seems to show up in the form of fewer derelicts standing outside 7-11 at 3am, or sleeping behind in the ally...
Every one of whom is afflicted with a psychiatric disorder.
I personally know a few of them by name.
I give them dollar coins and quarters fairly regularly, other times one might follow me in and I tell the clerk to ring up an extra coffee for 'my friend' over there....
Chat with them a bit without getting too involved.
Bradly is a favorite: always sporting a seemingly just-pressed tie with goldish tack, that matches his button down shirt and freshly shaved mug. It all clashes with the shock-purple back back (price tag dangling from the zipper), filthy trousers, holey shoes, and body stench.
Seen from the waist up, Bradly is ready for the boardroom. Yet, the only board he sees is the wooden bench of the bus stop.
And there's Linda, Jimmy and Robert as well.
(Through them I am reminded of Christ's admonition per "the least of my Brother's...".
Sure, I might totally suck at the 'Christian thing' most of the time, but it has taught me a thing or two (if not more than that.)
Maybe I find it rewarding when outcasts and walkpasts know my name, but not yours?
I don't know. Not important...
What I see in them is not much different than the mug that stares back from the mirror: just another stupid clown in the circus that we call Life.
They might get a cup of coffee/maybe a donut, and I get on to work feeling better than I did when I left the house.
I guess that when I do arrive in Hell for a deservedly large list of things, it won't be because Bradly put in a bad word for me.)
What seems to escape us all is that...
Every one of these people, derelicts and nutcases they may be, is somebody's child or parent.
Those Somebody's love them.
Love them dearly...
Worry about about them hourly...
And yet are powerless to do anything to help them.
It's not about how much money a politician may promise (usually under his breath, as an after thought on his way to take away your guns.)
It's not about money.
Not at all.
And it's not about guns, either. (Well, it is about guns for many politicians, none of whom really want to save schoolkids as much as they want to criminalize a hobby that they disapprove of.)
Collectively, we have failed these people just as the politicians have failed them and us.
Guns don't kill people.
Crazy people kill people, using guns, because they have the right to be that way.
This has got to stop.