Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Jesus and the Caravan

(photos courtesy of Jim Rees http://jim.rees.org/ )

Long time, no blog

I have been away- took a little time away from Blogonia.

Many changes have come up lately, personal and secular.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, I’m a people person, I enjoy meeting folks, talking to them, generally getting to know them so I can then make fun of them, but occasionally, I meet people I genuinely enjoy being around. My boss, er, former boss was one of those. I met him 4 or 5 years ago, but he was one of those guys that you feel like you’ve known for decades. After talking, and drinking together many nights, we found that while we came from very different backgrounds, we had many similar experiences, interests (Bombay Sapphire being the main one) and even shared some common acquaintances. It is quite possible that 15 or so years ago we crossed professional paths without knowing it-

He spent 26 years in an industry that spit him out when it was through with him- not fair.

In the weeks since that happened, more people that I have gotten close to are being walked out, others keep looking over their shoulders- not fair.

I am waiting, each day maybe my last- not fair- wrecked my body, mind, pretty close to my marriage over this job, I probably won’t last the end of the month- not fair.

Know what? Life aint fair.

I got it pretty good by most peoples standards, but it took the voice of one man to make me realize that.

Yes, I’m talking about Jesus.

The other day, I was in San Jose, parked on a corner. Laying back in my van. Thinking. Meditating. Sleeping. When I heard a voice- a soothing, calming voice.

I looked out through the windshield, through he rays of sun and I saw him.

I didn’t know who he was of course, I could barely make out a figure surrounded in the glowing sunshine. I saw his silhouette and heard him say “Your time has come” At first I was afraid, I asked “ Who are you?” He responded "don’t be afraid, I am Jesus. I am here to help.”

I was at the same time frightened and excited, desperate, yet somehow refreshed by his words. I said “Jesus, how do you know? Please tell me- How can I make use of my short time left? Guide me- tell me what to do!”

Jesus said “it is easy, give me a quarter, I will give you more time.” I didn’t know what this meant, but I reached into my ash tray, retrieved a quarter- then thought, hey it’s Jesus, I gave him 84 cents.

He said, thank you. I watched in anticipation and amazement- what would he do. Turn my quarter into millions and feed the world? Give me the secret to happiness and show me how to survive in this cutthroat world of unemployment and downsizing?

He reached towards the curb and placed three quarters into the meter and said “There you go, you got about a 45 minutes now.”

Jesus said he was hungry, could I help?

As I exited the van, I realized Jesus was wearing torn jeans, a 49er’s jersey and rubber flip flops.

Jesus is short.

Jesus lives outside of the Greyhound Bus Depot downtown.

Jesus last name is Ortiz.

Jesus has a girlfriend, her name is Shelly.

Jesus has a friend named Chookie.

Chookies kinda scary- lots of tattoos and a knife scar on his neck.

Jesus smelled.

So, Stinky Jesus, Shelly, Chookie and me all went inside the Caravan for some chilidogs and Nachos. I had a diet coke- Jesus had Miller High Life, Shelly was OK and Chookie likes rum and coke. Not a wine drinker in the bunch.

Jesus used to work in a body shop, but got arrested for possession and assault (because he was high and thought the cops were after his stash). The assault thing didn’t really count because he was so faced he took 2 slow motion swings and spun around like a cartoon before falling in a bush. He got out last week after doing 11months of 18 in Elmwood.

He actually likes jail. It gives him time to think. Time to rest. Time to clean out. And, he says, if you hook in with someone in laundry, you're guaranteed clean undies for your stay.

Nothing contributes to the rehabilitation of the criminal element like fresh chonies.

Jesus, Shelly, and Chookie taught me a lot that day. They reminded me that whatever life throws at you, whatever bad things happen, I have a place to live, I have a family to talk to, I have clean underwear.

They reminded me that others do not have it as good as I do. They reminded me that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

And I learned a very important lesson: Never ever touch Chookie on the scar.

So remember, Life aint fair, but for the most part it’s pretty OK.

So, if your ever downtown near the bus station, stop by the Caravan.

And remember: Jesus like chilidogs.


Blogger wonderbread74 said...

You have just won the Blog Writers' Association "Post of the Month." Redeem this comment for a free scoop of ice cream at any local Baskin & Robbins.

8/24/2004 9:14 AM  

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