Tag Archives: streets

pushed around

this week can’t end fast enough.

i had breakfast with one of my mentors this morning.  eggs benny as usual.  i was tired from having not slept well the night before.  mind racing and refusing to rest.  distracted from sleep by frustration, anger and a slew of other emotions i’d rather not list.

there have been only a few weeks during my whole life where i have actually questioned my desire to continue doing outreach on the streets.  this past week was one of those weeks.

to be honest, some times i hate doing this.

as rewarding as many of the relationships i’ve built at street level have been (some have changed my life), very few of them have been easy.  not by any stretch.  yes, all relationships take time and effort, but building them on the street usually involves much more.

more patience.

more love.

more grace.

some times i just don’t want to give more.

some times i just want to get a regular job, work with regular people (is there such a thing?) and have a regular routine.

no more visits to the shelter.

no more hanging out at the soup kitchens.

no more anything street related.

why i am saying all of this?

i’m tired.

i’m tired of having to always be the strong one.  tired of putting on a fake smile and talking about sports or complaining about the weather.  tired of having to project strength when inside i feel weak.

i’m tired of pretending i feel ok inside when that’s not how i feel.

underneath whatever veneer i consciously or subconsciously project, i hurt just as easily as everyone else.  maybe more.  i just don’t allow it to show.  project strength not weakness.

it’s a facade.

i’m broken like everyone else.  i’ve got to accept that eventually, right?

i was betrayed this week.

it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time, i’m sure.

that last matter-of-fact statement is more veneer, as if i don’t care.  i do care.  i care more than i’m willing to admit.  it’s not because of who it is but what they represented.

‘friendship’s enemy is betrayal.’

i was betrayed this week and i lost a friend.

different sides of the same coin.

i allowed myself to be pushed around.  literally.  screamed in my face.  insults upon more insults.

don’t take it personally, i tried to repeat in my head.

but no matter how many times i repeat the cliche-like mantra, it doesn’t work.

i can’t help but take it personally.

fatal flaw or gift from God.

feels more like a flaw today.  tomorrow it may be a gift again.

i’m reading through a book called ‘the cost of community’ right now.  in it the author examines what real, authentic community looks like and the cost to those who venture to build and be part of it.  tough times are a given, the author argues.  real community doesn’t come about without blood, sweat and tears.  in one part, which i feel speaks to me the most considering my past week, the author says, ‘resist the impulses for vengeance (gossip, slander, etc) and retribution and follow the radically risky and sacredly foolish path of peace and love.’

that sounds nice and all, but i’m tired and find it hard to care right now.

i need a vacation.

or maybe just a decent sleep.

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ashes to ashes

‘pick three items, lucas’.

he was already up off the couch and heading towards the kitchen.  this is dave at his best.

after street soccer on sunday night, dave came over to hang out for a bit.  he’s not living in the best of neighborhoods at the moment and as much time spent away, the better.  we debate whether or not it’s better than him living at the shelter.  the shelter was recently shot up.  7 rounds into the front of the building in a drive-by.  we side with his present location but have started apartment hunting again.

dave is an incredible cook.  everything he has ever made me to eat has been nothing less than amazing.  everything.  and he can do it with next to nothing in the kitchen.  he thrives off of making tasty dishes with as little as possible.  i think its his game.  it’s a fun game when you’re the one eating good food.

dave teaches me a bit about cooking.  he believes cooking is really easy and attempts to convince me of his truth.  after 10 minutes im pretty sure i can cook just as well as him.  power of persuasion takes another one down.

1o  minutes later we are eating a delicious meal.  kat and i compliment dave as we scarf down his recent creation.  he humbly brushes it off likes it’s nothing.  he picks up my guitar and starts playing some of his original licks.  he’s a good musician, too.

good times.  community at it’s finest.

dave has been making it more of a habit to come hang out.  i like that.  in the past, dave would disappear from months on end.  when you work with guys on the street it plays with your mind when your friends disappear for a while.  you dont know if they’re dead or alive.

the longer you do not hear from them, the deeper your fears become.

i hope dave keeps this habit up.

 

i lost another one of my friends back in east van last week.  wally had a lot of health problems when i first met at first united, constantly in and out of the hospital.  he had a very gentle spirit about him and a calming voice.  he always looked on the bright side of things, aware of but not willing to settle for the darker side of reality.

every time i asked wally how he was doing, he always answered ‘copasetic’.  i had to look up the word in the dictionary to figure out what he meant.  completely satisfactory.  when i pressed further what he meant, he told me that no matter what life threw at him, he wasn’t going to get too high on life nor would he go too low.  everything has a purpose, he would tell me.

i think he found great comfort in that.  i do too.

wally was another member of the first nations crew that spent their time drinking rubbing alcohol and mouth wash.  im not sure if it was the alcoholism that killed him or the cancer that ate away at his body.  im not sure what’s worse.

i’m pretty sure i could write a big, long post about wally that i did about africa but i don’t feel like doing that today.  i’m going to keep these memories inside for now.

 

lent started today.  happy ash wednesday.

i decided to give up losing any more friends for 40 days.  hopefully this works.

your prayers are appreciated.

 

you’ll be missed, wally.  dearly missed..

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