Sopping wet from sweat from bicycling 61 blocks on an errand of mercy, then back again.
Months ago Lady with her ever kind and giving Ladyheart gave a lift to someone less fortunate. Later that night she and I took over some food to him at his apartment and gave him and his urine soaked trousers a ride to the free church dinner.
Lady called Meals On Wheels to see if they could feed him and they said have him call so we went back and loaned him her fone but the gentleman in need got feisty with all the questions and when they asked if he had trouble getting around, he snapped “I get around fine. I use a cane but it’s a fashion statement.” Since Meals On Wheels is for those having trouble ambulating, they turned him down. The man definitely has trouble getting around and basically cut off his nose to spite their authoritarian face.
Friday I recorded a tune with Peter and forgot to turn my fone back on afterward. Friday night I get a voice message saying he’d like to talk to us. Go over Saturday but he’s not there so Lady leaves her jar of fresh canned blueberry jam and a bag of food in his door.
Lady gets a couple more voice mails asking if she’d taxi him someplace.
This morning I find another voice message from last night, call him back and get “Sorry, voice mail box is full, go away.” Get another voice mail from him from another number and call back and get a third party who is not exactly nice, doesn’t seem to understand what I say, and hangs up.
Get curious why I’m not hearing my fone ring and discover my fone’s still off, so since Lady’s at work with the car and I know what it’s like to be in trouble and need a hand, I bicycle 61 blocks in the hot sun.
We talk. He doesn’t remember me because I’m not with Lady. Ask him why he called and he said he’s out of money and he thinks if he can get hold of Steve & Kathy, they’ll lend him some. I say “I’m the Steve of Steve and Kathy.” He hadn’t recognized me because I’m not with Lady.
I explain we are on limited income and can’t be his patron. He says he gets $1,000 a month from disability (he’s 83) and his rent is only $230. I ask, “If you get that much, why are you in trouble every month?” “I donno, I do stupid things,” he replies. He doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so I don’t know what’s going on.
I tell him he cannot call us to ask for money or rides, and he says it’s good to know that. He’s quite a nice old man, I like him, but I can’t even afford to buy a little grass for myself so certainly can’t afford to raise him – besides, he’s 15 years older than I am.
I explain to him how he messed up on the Meals On Wheels because he insisted he had no trouble getting around. He says he meant he can get around the block he lives on, but not to the church serving free food. So we agreed that if Lady will call Meals On Wheels back and try to explain he was confused when he answered and ask if he can interview again, he’ll give less prideful answers. She says she’ll call them again, so we’ll see.
Then I gave him $7 and bicycled back in the heat.
Moral of story? Be careful to whom you give your fone#, and be aware that helping others sometimes is like trying to rescue flies willfully stuck to flypaper – you might get stuck yourself cuz it’s all one great sticky wicket.
Still, is better to try to help than harden one’s heart . . . otherwise you end up like Bland Paul or Mutt Romney or Ted Cruel, which is NOT a pretty picture.
(Took these two fotos on my bicycle way back home today . . . on the same car)