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, May 26, 2006

From Reverend Stinky Breath

Dravus Street bar was inhabited tonight, though the beer signs that Father Kim and I had turned on are now off again -- someone is undoing our fine work of last week. Milk Maid in the bar, laying down the law on Dogboy, who is hollering "I need -----" You, gentle reader, can fill in the rest, related to some arrested development, too much beer, and a fixation on female anatomy.

Despite Dogboy we had several interesting and productive conversations: "M" and the other "M" (sounds like a great name for a chocolate candy that won't melt in your hand) both were nice conversations. M1 is hoping to ship out as a deck hand on a fishing boat this summer, wanted help with his dental device which had broken. Gave him my card - one of the missions has a dental office, not sure if they can handle a partial bridge. He was pretty sloppy, shoved the card in a jacket pocket, bummed some smokes off Pastor Dave (Hey, that ploy works. I'm gonna buy a pack of Marlboros for the sake of the gospel). M2 revealed his deep Queen Anne roots -- lost a wife to heroin overdose. Sad. Nice guy, hope to catch up with him some more in the future.

Meanwhile Pastor Dave threw a couple games of pool. He had a good conversation. Guy said, "You guys are changing things in here," and Dave replied, "The Holy Spirit does that."

M2 also had to acknowledge that God was in the bar tonight. And M1 sloppily told me that Jesus Christ keeps him alive, despite the beer and abuse. As I write this I realize I shoulda asked him "Why." He was starting to get into his Pentecostal rap in a Missouri twang. Pretty charming.

On to MFQAT -- had nice chat with Train Guy -- always fun to talk to; "J" continues to melt away -- pretty awesome progress. We joked around a bit -- he was explaining something about some church he visited doing things differently than he grew up with, and I said something sarcastic about him being someone who is very particular about the places he hangs out in -- waving my arm around MFQAT. Bit of a dig. The dilemma is that hanging out there you get a sense of community, it's convenient for those in the Queen Anne neighborhood; but it's a pretty narrow range of human activity. I always say I need a crowbar to pry some folks out into the real world -- but that can be intimidating if you're new in town, shy, need the bolstering, whatever. There's got to be some amazing studies of the difference between American bars and British pubs.

Oh yeah. The "other" bartender tonight is not the Erudite One, but we shall call him "Red" and hope to use that cue to remember his real name. And the Grad Student too; maybe a reader will remind me of her real name, so I don't have to keep finessing it.

I'm missing a couple in this bar who used to stay out later, or maybe I was coming in there earlier. (Yes, that is it -- because we used to start at MFQAT -- until we added the Dravus St. tavern) I'll have to vary my schedule some week to see if I can say hi. I really liked them. They remembered my Luther quote almost -- and tried to say it back to me: "Sin boldly, and love more boldly still."

I smoked a cigarette in the parking lot with the guys at Dravus Street. It was the loving thing to do! g'night and love to all! Rick


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