January 11 2008 Friday

It’s hard to not answer or return the phone calls…
 
That said (my young political science teacher, Emily Gray, used the phrase "That said" about nine times last night), this is the first time in a year, and maybe the last, that she actually wants to see my face.  How can I pass up this chance?  I can finally drop her before she drops me.  She has, and she would again, and at last I can cut her off first, when it might mean something to her.
 
…But.
 
I was never that way.  My religion is that a heart should be soft, and willing to forgive after offenses.
 
And… my God hears the prayers of his children, even of those who call him random names or hate him, and answers however he can.
 
…Then, if she has anything to ask of me, how can I shut my ears…?  While there is yet an ounce of forgiveness left in me, shouldn’t I still forgive?
 
But, as an addict, the second I open my heart again, I’ll be unable to resist her, anything she asks; and I’ll despair again when she strays after others.
 
Oh… maybe not.  I’m not all that stupid.  Maybe I can actually treat her as a friend, like Inonge, and feel nothing at all when she takes a turn at this boy or that.
 
Well, anyway, my heart is still flesh, and it reacts automatically to kindness.  I won’t ignore the next phone call, if it comes.  And I’ll know that it will just be for one last ride somewhere… and I will give the ride, and be content.
 
 
Now, speaking of kindness and giving rides, I met an insane white man this morning calling himself "Mark", from the Bible.  He asked me for a ride as I was leaving my intersection.  I tried to infer a negative answer, but I could think of nothing dear I might lose from the interaction, so I relented.  The man had a devil living inside, but the devil was not nearly as fierce as that "legion" evicted by Jesus.  But the devil was obviously keeping hold on the man through alcohol.
 
We had a nonsensical exchange on the way down the block to his destination, about 13th South.  He mentioned not wanting to kill people, being rejected by his wife (sad…), something about rape, having a multitude of children, having six children, being 26 (great… ^o^), being a meth user, smoking something since 15, Al-Qaida, eye scans to identify murderers, Jehovah, God talking to him, people worshipping devils, and various names of gods and devils.  I tried to… find some common ground… ha ha…  Finally, outside "his" place, he began to insist with vulgarity that my car was stolen, that I park it as soon as possible and leave the keys inside, and that I never drive it again, or I would end up in a federal prison.  I shook his hand and showed him the door, but he went on for a couple minutes in the same threatening manner.  At last I asked him if he was coming to prison with me, and I pulled the car forward as if to drive away.  He said no, repeated himself just a few more times, and exited the car.
 
I wonder what more I could’ve said to him…  I didn’t preach much of anything, like I used to do with the crazies in Hong Kong.  I didn’t cast out his devil.  I didn’t even pray for him after I left…  Mostly I was just thinking about the man trapped inside that disrupted mind, wondering what his fate would be.  Then I thought about all the other people in the world which I also consider "insane"; yet they function as well as I do mentally; their insanity is more of blindness and ignorance, not knowing the difference between truth and untruth.  I thought that I preferred those people, although they are my enemies here, over the insane man I’d just dropped off, since they at least still had the ability to choose, while he perhaps did not.  Even Christians, I thought, with their vile doctrine of unbelief and fear, are my brothers and sisters.
 
I also thought of that girl I now try to reject, how different from this poor lunatic she was.  Then I wondered if he had left any diseases in that car seat where she was wont to sit… or on my hand as he shook it.
 
Oh well.  We all die anyway; I welcome it.  I’ll try to remember this poor insane brother in that world, to see what became of him.  Except for the lunacy, he was a handsome lad who might’ve done well in life.  But more probably, he would have done poorly, like most people.
 
I’m glad for the strange experience, anyway.  I have not much more of a life than he does, in the end, and no more of a soul — though both life and soul may be vastly different.  …Or maybe not so different.
 
Please, God, save me from this world.  This is a dark place and I don’t really like it.  I’m slow to graduate school, and slow to graduate life, but let me do both someday.
 
-Steve
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