St. Nick Leaving

Posted: October 11, 2015 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


8 October 2015

I met Nick and Mandy sitting on a low concrete wall near the park. I shook Mandy’s hand and Nick said, “Give me a hug, brother.” which I gladly did.

“How are you doing, Nick? I heard that you’ve been in hospital?”

“I’m conflicted. I prayed to God all night long. I’ve had three heart attacks in the past two months. One left me in the hospital for eighteen days. I got a message saying that I should stay with my family in Blainville near Niagara Falls. Two of my brothers are anxious to carry on my work. Two friends here have said they would take over for me here. They’ll be coming by later with pizza.

“I have a schizophrenic woman staying at my house also a twenty-three year old who is trying to get off crack. She’s been clean for a while. Yesterday she told me she was going to her dealer for a fix. I said to her ‘You’re following the devil’s path. When you suck on that pipe, you’re blowing the devil.’ She’s an adult. I can’t make choices for her.

“Another woman had asked me for a sleeping bag. I told everyone I know, about her situation and someone came through for me. I was given a brand new sleeping bag worth $150. I gave it to her. Do you know what she said to me? ‘I don’t want it.’ I said, ‘What do you mean you don’t want it. I went to a lot of work to find this. Someone paid $150 dollars so you could keep warm at night.’ She said, ‘I’ll give it to someone.’ So now some kid she pans with has a sleeping bag. These kind of things stress me. Because of my heart condition I’m supposed to avoid stress. How do I do that?  I feel guilty abandoning these people.”

I said, “You’ll carry on your work where you’re going. You’ll be helping people there who otherwise wouldn’t be helped. You can’t be everywhere.”

“You’re right. Let’s join the others at the park… Look, there not at the park, they’re on the traffic island. I wonder what happened.”

I greeted everyone then sat next to Wolf. He said, “Nobody’s talking to me because I yelled at the park maintenance guy. There he is with the yellow jacket. Yellowjacket, that’s a type of wasp isn’t it? It suits him. Anyway, we were all over there. This guy is standing not three feet away and he turns on the sprinklers. The rest of these guys jumped up and ran. I have a hard time getting up and I had Shaggy’s wagon with Rick’s stuff in it. Me and the contents of the wagon were getting drenched.”

I asked, “Are you still wet?”

“Well, I’ve got a set of long johns under my pants and I’ve got a heavy coat on, but yes, I’m still wet.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine. Same old, same old.

“Look I want to apologize for being so drunk the last time I talked to you.”

“There’s no problem, Wolf.”

“I’m drunk now as well, but I haven’t taken any of the other stuff. I got some weed for later, but that’s all.”

Rick announced, “This is my friend, Nathan, and he’s brought two boxes of pizza.”

Nathan said, “It seems odd celebrating the departure of a friend who we’ll all miss. Before we eat I’d like to say a few words from Psalm 15:

A Psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”

Depending on weather, I’m hoping to see Rick and the others tomorrow. I say my goodbyes and shake hands with anybody who isn’t holding a slice of pizza.


Read about my friends here


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