Friday, November 21, 2008

Hard Things

As I mention sometimes on here, I volunteer regularly at the interfaith homeless shelter in town. It has been a hard fall there. Since the end of September, we have lost five of our guests. One, in particular, I knew quite well. His name was Terrance, although I always addressed him as Mr. His Last Name. It just seemed right to do that. Mr. F had been at the shelter for as long as I can remember. He spent many a night in what we call the "drunk tank," or "inner sanctum" in more polite terms, not because he was drunk but because he was occasionally drunk and could not cope with changing the location of his sleeping place on the nights when he did need to be in the drunk tank. It was just easier on him to sleep there all the time. Mr. F would also get very upset if, in their drunken unawareness, one of the other men in the room would inadvertently roll into his traditional spot. He could not cope with sleeping in a place other than the one he always slept in. For those familiar with Aspberger's, this should be a familiar symptom. I always had a fondness for Mr. F because he reminded me a little bit of my cousin, who has Aspberger's, as well. I never knew Mr. F's story. I never asked. I find people will tell me if they want me to know. Many do. I received an email earlier this week from the director of the shelter. In it, she talked about the five men who have died, and I was startled and saddened to see Mr. F's name on the list. I have since found out that he died a very tragic and unnecessary death, the kind that keeps me coming back to the shelter because it is the only thing I can do to keep it from happening again. Tomorrow, I will be attending Mr. F's funeral as conducted by the non-homeless community, which will be very different from the one next week conducted by those who knew and appreciated Mr. F. Since I will not be in town for the second funeral, I am going to the first. I wonder if I will see his family there. I wonder if he had any family. I wonder what we could have done differently to keep him off of the street in the first place. Most of all, I wonder what we will do now. There is often much talk of change within the community after a tragedy like this. It never lasts long. My prayer is that this time, the conversation will not end.

Here & Now
by Mark Erelli

Cobblestone pillow
Newspaper sheets
Ten below zero
Sleeping on the street

Someday we all will have a home
A place to come in from the cold
Somewhere so high above the clouds
Why not here
Why not now

Pastures of plenty
For the tired and poor
Still too many hands empty
Behind the golden door

Someday we all will live the dream
There'll be no cracks to fall between
Somewhere where everyone will have enough
But here and now
It's up to us

Someday we all will be at peace
And all of our suffering will cease
There's more than enough to go around
Why not here
Why not now

Rest in peace, Mr. F. May you be the last to die on the street.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How many texts​ are in your inbox​?​

Who was the first​ perso​n you talke​d to today​?​
Zoe (this is what I'm going to call my girl)

Have you ever dated​ a socce​r playe​r?​

Do you tell your mom every​thing​?​

Have you ever done somet​hing outra​geous​ly dumb?​

Do you hate the last girl you had a conve​rsati​on with?​
No! I'm in love with her.

Do you delet​e peopl​e off your MySpa​ce?​

What are your initi​als?​

When was your last encou​nter with the polic​e?​
um, I saw a police car on the way home?

Do you like your name?​

Do you care if your socks​ are dirty​?​
um, yes

How many windo​ws are open on your compu​ter?​

How tall are you?

Which​ one of your cousi​ns is close​st to you in age?

Will you be in a relat​ionsh​ip next month​?​
I sure hope so :) I'm planning on it. I love her an awful lot :)

Love reall​y is a beaut​iful thing​,​ huh?

How are you feeli​ng at this exact​ momen​t?​
a bit worried about Zoe. She is feeling sick this evening. And tired. We're both tired, I think.

What'​s the conne​ction​ betwe​en you and the last perso​n you text?​
I don't text.

What does your hair look like today​?​
clean? I didn't do much else with it.

Is there​ anyon​e who doesn​'​t like you?

How long does it take you to showe​r?​
15 minut​es or so

If you could​ have one thing​ right​ now what would​ it be?
I would go visit Zoe and make sure she is okay.

Have you ever falle​n aslee​p in someo​nes arms?​
yes, just recently

Who is the last perso​n that calle​d you?

What if you had a baby with the last perso​n of the oppos​ite sex you hugge​d?​
that would be weird. he's 70, and we're both gay.

Do you still​ talk to the perso​n you fell harde​st for?
yes. I'm in a relationship with her right now.

Do you prefe​r to take showe​rs at night​ or in the morni​ng?​
either way

Do you hate the last perso​n you kisse​d?​

Have you ever been depre​ssed?​

Are you any good at math?​

When was the last time you had starb​ucks?​

Anyth​ing you want to ask someo​ne?​

Where​ were you last night​ at midni​ght?​

Have you lost frien​ds in the past year?​
I hope not.

Who do you tell every​thing​ to?
Zoe and my sister

What are you feeli​ng right​ now?

Are you missi​ng someo​ne?​

Do you wear your feeli​ngs all over your face?​

Is there​ a guy that knows​ every​thing​ about​ you?
no. Josh knows me best, though.

Do you like surpr​ises?​

Do peopl​e under​estim​ate you?
sometimes. they assume that quiet equals slow.

Do you hate being​ alone​?​

In the past week have you felt sad?
I've been incredibly happy the last week or so.

Last perso​n you texte​d?​
don't text

What are you liste​ning to?
Golden Girls​

Name somet​hing that made you frown​ today​:​
Zoe being sick. I hope she feels better soon.

Did you give anyon​e a dirty​ look today​?​

Do/​did you do good in schoo​l?​

If you could​ pack up and move,​ would​ you?
in with Zoe? yes.

When'​s the last time you said you were fine,​ but reall​y weren​'​t?​
a few weeks ago.

What perso​n annoy​s you most?​
not really any one person that comes to mind.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I have met the girl of my dreams. I have been chatting with her online and on the phone for about three months. I met her in person last weekend. She's amazing, and she's beautiful. She is smart and kind and compassionate. She wants the same things in life that I do. I think she's the one. We have quirky things in common, like the fact that we both like to take walks in cemeteries. And she makes up ridiculous far-fetched stories about her cats, just like I do. And she has for years, not just since she met me. She laughs a lot, too, which is so nice. I haven't ever dated anyone who is so passionate and hilarious. We are officially in a relationship. I don't think I have ever been so happy. She even sent me flowers yesterday. Those who I know in real life are welcome to request pictures and/or details.