An Idea for our Hot Dog man
I read the Rain Alert and asked Dale if he would be willing to host up to 3 strangers today- yes, he and I both were willing. After several phone calls to Brian, we finally figured out that we had to go down to the Occupy Camp and pick up some folks or they'd never make it to our house . . . so Dale left . . . Brian told him that "some folks are more committed than others to the cause" so he helped Dale choose 3. Dale tells me that a large, perhaps off-his-meds homeless guy really wanted a shower, but that Brian steered Dale towards 3 young adults, and he brought them home. I had set the table for 3 and laid out towels in preparation for their arrival. When he pulled up, in the rain, they didn't seem to want to come in . . .they carried their worldly goods with them: a very nice skateboard and a plastic storage container with stuff. Melinda, Alex and Brian (names changed) were shy, dirty and cold. I yelled from the open door, "Welcome! Come on in!! I'm so glad Dale found you!!"- but they came hesistantly. I asked them to leave all wet things inside the front door and to make themselves comfortable. Alex was quick to jump in the shower- he was quiet and maybe stoned . . . he is a lovely person with excellent manners- later he wanted to wash dishes and laughed when I suggested we do some drumming (we have lots of drums and percussion instruments) instead of watching a football game on TV. He also nodded at the computer- meaning: "I would like to use your computer." I told him that I'm not comfortable with that so I'd ask Dale. Dale quickly said Alex could use his computer, so I was relieved. Soon, he and Melinda, his "sister," were reading email or playing solitaire, or going to Facebook, or who-knows-what. Brian wasn't hungry, but he requested Hot cocoa, coffee, a toothbrush and $2, if that wasn't too much trouble. He is also a drummer who enjoyed our assortment of drums- I'd hear the various rhythms from time to time . . . and he loves kitties- which we have a surplus of . . . it was his skateboard, but not just any skateboard: the wheels are original something-or-others and he wouldn't even sell 'em. Melinda is my sweetheart. She was last to shower and first to eat. I was able to talk with her about the Movement. After thinking about my questions she said, "A lot of people aren't there for the political part, there just there to party and hang out." Dale told me that in the car he asked questions, too, and she was the only one he could engage, but she was very vague- saying that she'd heard about the lawsuit but hadn't talked to any lawyer . . .she said her Blackberry was not returned with her other possessions after SDPD took everything. She asked to recharge her friend's cell phone- since it was a lot like mine. Her friend was arrested last night for hitting a punky guy who showed up and insisted on erecting a tent even though they told him tents weren't allowed. Earlier today, I put a turkey in the oven, never dreaming we'd have company . . . the turkey came out of the oven after everyone was full on chicken soup, lentils, squash and rice. But Melinda said, "Can I have the neck??? I love turkey neck!" Of course, I couldn't resist giving it to her. She walked back out into the living room to Brian and Alex and said, "Look! I've got the turkey neck!" So endearing. 2 hours passed and I was falling in love with these young strangers . . . Brian playing with the kitty, Alex smiling and doing something on Dale's computer and Melinda bubbling happily. And then we had to go. I was off to the Middle Aged, Middle American Women's contingent . . . in the rain . . . and I've been sick for 2 weeks. Out of the blue, Melinda asked if we could first swing by her Mom's house (not too far from where we live). "Sure." Next thing we knew both she and Alex were taking all their belongings and saying good-bye. They decided to stay at Mom's (in the rain, who could blame them) and use the dryer for their wet blankets. "We'll be back at the camp tonight!!" Melinda added, "Can I give you a hug?" "Of course," I said as I hugged her warmly. "Take care- and I hope I hear from you soon," I added. Off we sped with Brian, who may have felt out-numbered; left with newly adopted Mom and Dad. "Where do you want to go, Brian?" I asked. "How about Grape and Albatross." So he led us to the corner where we dropped him off in the rain- in his nylon gym shorts- skateboarding off into rainy downtown. "I'll call you if I'm distressed," he said. "Good!" I yelled . . . because I'd given each of them our home number and said, "Call us if you need ANYTHING." What a day. Then, Dale dropped me off at the Middle-Aged, Middle-Class Women's march . . . my favorite sign was "Wall Street: Don't make me use my MOM voice on you!"
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