Friday, April 10, 2009

Could be better

I had an absolutely hilarious encounter on Wednesday at the homeless shelter. I sauntered in as usual, talked to Marvel, who just got out of prison after 40 years. Checked in with Aundra, who apparently is being asked to find another place to live. Compared notes with Denise, who announced to me, "Look, I have a diamond as big as yours..." (Note to self, turn ring inward when at homeless shelter).

MJ looked dejected. He didn't look like he really wanted me to engage him, so I approached cautiously. Yep, just as I thought, he lost his job. Of course it was not his fault. It never is. He is a very sweet guy, but apparently he has some anger management issues. He made a point of putting about six feet between us, so I understood that to mean he wasn't in the mood for little Mary sunshine today.

I went through the line and got my 2 chili dogs, some kind of potato casserole and jello. I spied a group in a corner whom I'd never invaded before ... a group of about six different guys. I learned they are all with the maintenance team. The guy I sat next to was named Richard; a small, skinny, 60-ish guy. He started quoted scripture to me. I tried to agree, but then he would quote another that sort of contradicted it. I'm not sure what that was all about, so I just kept smiling and nodding. When he got up, the guy across from him, Rick, shared a knowing look with me. Again, we both smiled.

Now about the encounter ... when I sat down at the table, I said, "How's it going today?" I heard "mumble mumble mumble" from a 50-ish woman in a tank top with a small butterfly tattoo right around her sternum. I laughed when I pieced together what she had said and responded, "Did you just say, 'Better if you weren't here?'" She smiled at being busted. Then I told her, "You'll have to do better than that to chase me away. I grew up with 3 older brothers. That's not nearly mean enough."

Next time, I'll make sure I get her name. And give her a "hard time" for her previous comment.

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