Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Dreamy Night

Did you ever have one of those dreams where people you knew from here, there, and everywhere intruded into your brain. It was like that last night at Third & Bell.

Pastor Dave and I returned to the Dravus St. bar looking for evacuees from My Favorite (closed) Queen Anne Tavern. Did not spot anyone, but greeted "Bartender C" who seems completely out of context in a pretty rough bar -- she should be pushing milk and cheese products at a country fair, dressed in dirndle skirt.

Pastor Dave whipped me at pool (lousy table) and then beat one guy, lost to another. He wanted me to think he threw the game for the sake of the gospel!

Back by My Fav. (C) QAT just to make sure nothing was close to happening there. Yup. Dead as a doornail. Why the new owner hasn't posted a sign "Under New Management, Look for our Grand Reopening . . " is beyond me.

Then I entered a twilight zone. Six significant conversations at 3rd & Bell -- people wandering in that I knew 10 years ago, former homeless people I helped out (arguing about who has known me longer). One meth babe who confessed to being a grandmother (I was watching the face of the 30 year old who HAD been hitting on her -- hehehehe -- sin is often it's own reward). The Man With No Identity received my letter to the senator on his behalf. Tree Hugger K. walked in carrying a gallon of milk (what the!!!) and let me know that he isn't drinking anymore (or did he say, 'not drinking very much?'). At any rate, he walked out of 3rd and Bell with his milk and never had a drop o' booze despite hanging out and talking. The 30 year old "kid" who had hit on the meth-babe-granny was full of himself; moved out of Belltown ("I don't have to throw macaroni and cheese out my window onto drug dealers now." -- best quote of the night) and lives in Magnolia neighborhood. Good for him. He was pretty stoked.

New bartender -- I'll call him 2nd Gospel -- is settling in.

I can't remember laughing so much on the street in 20 years.

Oh yeah, how could I forget. Bearded Lutheran told me he's now been on the same stretch of I-5 for 15 years (which is consistent with the fact that I first met him 10 years ago and at that time he told me it was 5 years. He inspired me back then to clamber under the freeway to meet people.)

We had a wide ranging conversation -- military service and the directions of a person's life given certain pivitol moments and choices we make. Serious stuff. He grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran. Interesting guy. About 20 minutes into this wide ranging conversation he pulls up and says, "Pray for {me}" saying his full name. Nothing specific. I assured him I would, and he said, "I believe you will." It was quite a serious moment in a night of hilarity.


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