Friday, September 29, 2006

The People on the Bus

I get to meet lots of people working in my job. .....Church members, service workers, and small children, deliciously interesting olderpeople, and complete strangers. Yes, I get it all. many people disguise their angel wings with clothes,but know that between you and me, I can see their glimmer through fabric. My office pals shine the best. One friend calls me when she is on her way into work nearly every morning, and she sounds like she is glad to hear me answer. Even now, she still sounds that way. It's a good thing.

Another work friend, always stops by on her way to her upstairs office. She's been bringing baby along for the last several months, but it is just now starting to show. I'll be glad when I get to know that baby outside of the ultrasound pics as they just don't do her justice.

Another friend works odd times, and so it is always a surprise to see her. We share a liking for hot dogs and crinkle cut fries. I have a new friend who pops in for a quick sit and I love those times.

Work people aside, I'm here to point to a few special Avon families that I have come to know.
We have a woman who frequents our premesis. She also visits my home church, as we are not far from each other. Here, she knows me as pretty stingy. I don't give help to her too often because I don't think she really qualifies as an Avon person. She's more of a teenager mindset avon person which is to say that she needs everything everyone else has, and wants more of it and wants it NOW. I understand that thinking, but it isn't very feasible when you think about it. So when she comes in these days, she doesn't expect much anymore. We're on a first name basis. She doesn't come as often, hoping that stretching out her requests may give her a higher yield. I hope she'll figure out the reality soon.

This week, I was at home chuch, waiting to speak to my mentor home pastor, and the church phone rang. I answered. I immediately recognized the voice on the other end. It was Alma. the aforementioned avon person. She asked for "Pastor WW, or Miss YY". Then she stopped in mid-syllable. " Who am I speaking with?" she asked, warily.
I responded with, " Who am I speaking with?"
She lowered her voice. " Melanie?"
I answered. " Hi Alma."
Suddenly she had other things to do. Gosh, I hate we missed an opp to chat.

A man came in to talk turkey. We talked. I gave he and his wife the help I could. They left.
The same man came in again, and we talked again. It wasn't long before I realized that he didn't need money. He needed a Pastor. or maybe a beer buddy. " Maybe we should make an appointment with the Pastor for you? " He looked confused. " Well, okay. When do you want to talk again?" I was under the distinct impression that he thought I was a Pastor. Stop laughing.

I may be pasteurized, but I am NO Pastor. " Let's go look in the Pastor's calendar and find a time" He came along comfortably, but he never stopped talking about the whims and ways of his relationship. We made the appointment. He ditched it.
A week later, he came back. " Let's make that appointment, Melanie" he said to me.
"Bernard, you missed your appointment with the Pastor. I am disappointed because he has a lot of wisdom he could share with you, and I really wish you had called to tell us you could not make it."
Bernard hung his head. " Well, I really just wanted to tell him about the woman. She couldn't come that day, if we make another appointment, I'll get her here. But we want you there, too."
I finally had to come clean with him. " Bernard, in case you haven't noticed, I'm the church secretary. I'm not the Pastor, not even close. Heck, I don't even pray that good. You really need to share your story with him." Bernard said that his wife wanted me there, too. I'm thinking that maybe she just wants to talk girltalk? OH, good grief. I guess we'll see. Let's hope they don't ask me to pray.

My most favorite visiting friend is a schitzofrenic who I have known before and after meds.
The first time he came he was hearing voices and he was hungry. I took himback to the kitchen, got him a plate of lunch and sat with him while he ate. " So, Marvin, are you hearing them now?
"Yeah"
" Do you know that they are not real?"
" Yeah, can I have another tea?"
"Sure." "So what are you hearing now?"
" A woman. She is screaming for help. She is on the floor and screaming for help"
I thought a minute. " Marvin, are you sure you are hearing this now, NOW, and not a , let's say a half an hour ago?" At this, Marvin stopped and looked right at me.
" Yeah, Marvin. I'm better now. I just brushed myself off and got on with my day."
He looked at me. Looked me over. Saw my dusty knees, and random hair. " So you doing better now?" I patted him on the shoulder and answered. " "Yes, I am. Sometimes it's nice to know you've been heard, though. Hey, want another potato?"
I think he was relieved in some ways at my response. Then again, he may be thinking he is a time traveller and hears realities that are 30 minutes behind real time. No telling.
The next time I saw Marvin he was cleaned up and clearer in the eyes. I hope he can stay that way, but I'd have another sit down with him at lunch any day.

Yep, lots of people around this place. Lots.

4 comments:

Giancarlo said...

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LutheranChik said...

When I was in college my campus parish was open for most of the day, every day, so our church secretary experienced quite a wide range of humanity coming through the doors at all times of day. The church was near a community mental health living facility, so many of the reality-challenged residents would wander in...one day she heard strange clanging noises in the sanctuary and left her office to investigate...and found a naked man dancing atop the collection plates, which he'd laid out on the floor. She later made a wry comparison to King David dancing naked before the Ark of the Covenant.

net said...

love your blog and miss you when you are too busy! happy thanksgiving! (o)

jean said...

You really have to learn to pray.