tough night at work tonight.. an hour and a half after work has ended, im still trying to wrap my head around things.
shift started well. waking everyone up and out by five was pretty easy. almost too easy, in retrospect.. see, around 430 we start waking up everyone thats sleeping in the main room, the sanctuary, which is the only one still open. the chapel and gallery get closed earlier for cleaning. we close the doors to the community for one hour starting at five.
only one fight to break up in the elderly and disabled line up. very nice bonus. dinner went smooth. no fights or yelling. the wheel of a wheelchair came off and i had to fix it. the name of the occupant? wheels. funny native fella but grouchy as all hell. drinks too much, swears too much and swears that he can knock my block off. he will do so without leaving the confines of his chair. impressive. thats confidence. hes so convinced that i can see it in his eyes. he really believes it. i let him and enjoy messing with him when hes grouchy. not in a bad way (uh..) in a really funny good way 😉
next few hours drift by pretty quick. nothing really happens. one of the working ladies sits with me in the back room of the church known as the womens section. she tells me about one of her recent ‘dates’. if you dont know what ‘dates’ are, just send me a private message and ill tell you. now girls dont usually do this. this is the first date story ive heard first hand. shes telling me because the old retiree that courted her didnt do so for the usual reasons. he just wanted company. aw, cute right? not quite… ok, he wanted company while getting really high. when all is said and done, he gives her a bunch of money, over and above anything she would even think to ask for. and free dope. she is still glowing about it a day later. im just happy to see her every time i do. the east van streets are not safe by any stretch of the imagination. pickton may be locked up but there are still other predators out there.. scary but true.
she finishes her story abruptly and switches gear, confessing that she wants to get out this life she leads. twelve years on the streets has worn on her considerably. she wants a normal life but with a 300 dollar a day habit, shes got quite a hole to get out of. to say its steep would be redundant at best. but i pray with my whole heart and soul that she makes it out and stays out. i pray that she finds the resolve and strength to conquer her addictions. i see hope in her eyes. real hope. ill argue with anyone til im blue in the face: hope makes all the difference. “most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – dale carnegie
so everything up to this point in the night has led me directly to my final encounter of the night. everything culminates here.
i can still smell the rankness that hit me like a piano as i walked into the mens bathroom. i dont wish this smell on my enemies.. its THAT bad.
walking into the bathroom, i can see that a gentleman in the first stall had fallen. he was bleeding a bit and he couldnt get himself up. what gave me pause to help him up is what the putrid smell was all about. the gentleman had a bad mishap in the bathroom. ill leave it at that.
telling the gentleman id be right back to help him, i went to our office to procure myself some blue gloves at the same time explaining the situation to my superiors. i return and helped him up, ran him a shower and got him into some new clothes. its a feat of patience i didnt know i was capable of. surprised myself today.
ill call him ted, but only because he looks like a ted. his real name will stay unsaid. so ted and i are talking during the process of getting him into the shower and i bluntly ask him if hes high or drunk. hes neither. hes two years into the beginnings of muscular dystrophy. he loses his balance and falls because his muscles are slowly losing strength. functions in his body have been compromised by a hereditary disease that there exists no cure for. hes trapped in a body thats wasting away on him..
ted and i had quite a bit time to talk during the whole encounter. super polite and thankful guy. kept thanking me over and over again. told me about his family and his disease. told me about his past life a bit. interesting guy. makes me hate the disease that much more.
after getting ted into a new wardrobe and some fancy new kicks, i shake hands with my new friend and my night ends shortly after at the stroke of midnight.
eat. blog. sleep.