Wednesday, October 06, 2004

the small things

wednesday nights i volunteer at church where we have a dinner and invite our homeless. tonight, i sat with johnson and fred. fred was in a good mood, meaning his cantankerous edge was softened. he asked if i would take them home tonight. we all knew the answer to that question. then he complained that he and johnson are still living outside. but that's not a new complaint, instead there's no new answer to the problem. anyways he left, while johnson and i continued talking with pam and her son jesse sitting farther down the table eating small bites of watermelon.

i asked johnson if he has had any interesting things happen to him lately. he said, "no."

i made a comment about his friends and he said he doesn't have any. i asked what he does for enjoyment. he said he doesn't enjoy anything. i know johnson; he wasn't being ornery. i think he really believed what he was saying. so i reminded him of the things he enjoys and learned something new about him in the process.

me: "johnson, that's not true you like chess, mate, coffee, stashing things into secret places at page street." (at this he laughed because he knew it to be true)
him: "except now mark is starting to pull them out into the open."

me: "you do have friends. look you have pam, eric, darren, fred, gennaro, me, and mary at least. that's almost two handfuls and that's more than a lot of people."
him: "i haven't written mary in a while. i need to do it."

these small things take off some of the grime life can dole out. i could sense a lightness in his step as he left, cigarette poking out of his mouth. and i was glad i could be a part of that.


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