I think of a hilarious parody version of starship captain Avatar from STAR BLAZERS I cooked up the other night, who believes he’s a bum sitting on a sidewalk somewhere imagining all of this, making whatever whimsy imaginable the ship’s directed, at the dread and finally outrage of much of cute, once-harmless outer space beings. And he’s decided to be the ally of some poor unwitting underdog who can’t get free of his help…
Marc Kane’s guess is this is what my subconscious did with what happened Friday night, already a record day for complete disruption of my intentions, but better now than later. I delivered three most depressing but sober and truthful texts that took a pretty long while to compose on my walk with the Kane. I had to risk ruining the appearance of a Christmas happiness that wasn't actually very hopeful of happening anyway, and maybe throw away a relationship in my life that represents one of my most thorough investments in any other human being on Earth, but I challenge that person to do what they should for their own good and others.
Finished, I pause to watch innocent carolers, fairly awful ones but with considerable enthusiasm, then listen to someone's church-fueled testimony knowing she'd never understand mine because she'd never think to ask, and Marca asked only for some nearby Wendy's. I'd craved a real cheeseburger for the second time all year, anyway! Little recording little snapshot for Bean and KMGC, two blocks' walk, and we're at the Wendy's we visit about three times a year.
So after we get the order super fast from a woman with the nicest accent we heard all day, the story now becomes that homeless man, who flipped out and followed us as we moved to three different tables in Wendy’s on 1st and Broadway, demanding to know where we lived repeatedly, before yelling threats as he backed out and continuing to glare and point from the street after I’ve remembered the rules and made the staff get the manager to get his ass out there and take care of it right, so we could just get our food bagged up and go while everyone witnessed!
"I just wanted to know where they live!" screamed the man most interested in finding a bargain place to stay, as the round middle-aged store manager stood some fifteen feet away. From his doorway position, he continued on, already told by us both, leave us alone now for about four entire minutes from the start. "When you get outside, I'm going to get you!" he said to MK. "You better not be around when we get outside! I'll call the cops immediately!" she shot back. From outside he continued his gestures and threats.
Well, you just have to keep up with the right thing to do; it won’t abandon you when you are in realization of true danger. After making the easy decision to challenge a person to live right or not around me, I’d been brooding, anyway; I don’t have a daily habit of cutting people out of my life. But while I wonder if things will be alright, suddenly this dude I never saw before, drunk, asks for change, won’t take my fifteen cents, and starts asking questions, and after I say I don’t want to talk anymore, it’s like my exquisite grief set this guy’s wack-o-meter off and in the evening of this life-changing, transforming day’s havoc and decision, the magical change of life around me drew this vagrant to me in a way reminding me of nothing less than the weird man who follows around the good witch in the Craft, terrifying her and getting himself killed by the emergent powers around her and her less worthy friends.
We sat down and ate and observed the struggling energies of the Christian adults, who spoke up with cupped hands between songs twice while we finished our food, to profess their testimonies, which sounded without joy. I was pretty sure we were being overheard and this was souring Marc, who wondered why they hadn't bothered to teach the kids more than these few songs they were now recycling from earlier; my olive branch thought aloud was, forgiveness is Christianity's innovation, philosophically.
But you know the limitation of forgiveness? It's in the ability of some people to be genuinely sorry enough to change a life with that perception of forgiveness. I wondered just what these people had been so sorry for, and if they understood, either, or were just doing what they'd been told. I have to confess, this was overall the very least fun walk we took like this all year long, but life doesn't have to be fun; "it is what it is," we agree.
Somewhere, my rather sudden arch enemy wanders downtown...my existence almost certainly by now forgotten.