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2003-11-17 @ 2:20 p.m.
dodging Jesus freaks and panhandlers

About a month ago an acquaintance who runs a peer counseling center downtown asked if I would come in for this vague sort of thing that was happening on November 17. She's always been very nice to me and had even gotten me a graphics job, so I went today.

What I didn't know was that it merely involved filling out a 3 page mental health survey and scoring a crisp $20. bill plus lunch! Yippie!

Once the survey was finished we had a group discussion. It's always a little disheartening to me how "out there" some mentally ill people are. I don't mean that in a mean way, because I happen to be one of them. But many of them seem really lost.

One guy with a Yankees cap on would just say random stuff like, "Oh, you look like Ted Kennedy." "I took welding in high school...I like sharp things." Another woman talked about migraines and how her pdoc was sending her psychic messages that he didn't like her. One man who had no teeth, didn't know how to read or write, but knew all the scores of the local sports team.

I also met up with a woman who used to be in my old DBT class. She was an older African American woman who used to sit in the class in a near catatonic state and then pop up with comments like, "Jesus wore gold cufflinks" and then smile like the Cheshire Cat. I knew she was extremely intelligent, because she would occasionally snap out of it, and be quite lively and knowledgeably about music and theatre. She was taking an acting class at the time and really enjoyed it.

After the discussion we were invited to a large table of deli meats, rolls and other goodies. I hadn't eaten so I made what might be described at Subway as a quadruple meat and cheese sandwich. Four pieces of ham, 1 slice of turkey, 4 slices of salami, 3 slices of cheese and mayo. Yeah, I know, that's a little embarrassing, isn't it?

I also snapped up about 5 cookies. I just have this thing...when food is free I tend to get all grabby for some reason. Must be that living in poverty thing.

Afterwards it was back down to the bus stop. I decided to take the bus downtown today to give my old clunker a rest. And also to save money on parking.

I am not particularly fond of the ambiance of our downtown area. It's dirty. You're dodging panhandlers, and watching young welfare mothers beat their little kids and then there are the bible thumpers on the corner. And they are loud. Excessively loud. Like 3000 decibels loud.

Now this is only conjecture, but I'm guessing behind telemarketers, these guys who stand on the corner and scream "Repent or Jesus is going to kick your ass all the way to hell" are probably the second most hated person on the planet.

This guy was loud today. And he was scaring the little kids who were waiting for the bus nearby. And for all his wild-eyed fervor, you would think he could throw in a few "Jesus Love You's" for the Barney set.

Instead it was all this "You're going to hell"...natch..."You're in're feeling the flames of hell lap at your feet...the flames of hell are going to engulf you...THE FLAMES OF HELL ARE....."

I was thinking...gee I wish I had some marshmallows to long as Satan's having a bar-b-que and all.

So I finally got home. Had a note from Married Guy. He wants me to play mommy tomorrow to the kids. Him and wifie are going to a school board meeting and I get to baby-sit and eat Pizza Hut pizza whilst they are gone. I guess that is a good deal. Getting to drive the SUV...lounging at the nice yuppie house...and playing mommy for a couple of hours.

At least it's better than dodging panhandlers and Jesus freaks downtown.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty