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 26, 2007


It was one of those nights when I really didn't want to go out.
Two mornings in a row I've left the house before 7:00 a.m. and didn't get back until, well it was 8:00 last night, and tonight, er this morning, it'll be like 1:00 a.m.
So I'm tired. So what. That's life.
But it would have been easy to lay around and phone it in. My bar-hopping co-pastor bailed on me, so I was all alone.
Anyway, I ended up going to Tent City 3 at Riverton Park United Methodist Church, dropping off 80 pairs of socks. (Egad, haven't told you yet . . . later post). The desk guys whined about no flashlights, so I ran down Highway 99 until I finally found a Safeway open at 9:45, bought some flashlights and batteries. ran back to TC3.
In the 45 minutes of my running around, the whole situation had changed. The desk person was different, the mood was different. A bunch of new people were getting checked in, there was a hum of activity. I simply dropped the stuff on the desk and left without signing in the donation book.
I drove away feeling weirdly grumpy, but I figured it out. It was the total lack of appreciation for my heroic effort. Wah Wah Wah. But it was the right thing to do, so I'm glad I did it, and I don't have to have some homeless TC3 person go ape for me.
On to My Favorite Queen Anne Tavern, which is now a bar I guess because they added hard liquor. Anyway MFQAT I thought would be a good quick visit and head in early.
First there was a very sad lady out front, about which I could do nothing but listen and be calm. Her situation will be better (dear God, please) in a day. She's had some hard knocks in her life, and so like all of us, she strings these hard knocks together in her mind. Proof of God's knuckleheadedness (my junior high gym teacher taught me that word, feel free to borrow it).
While she's screaming, crying, cursing God, invoking her dead mother's memory, the MFQAT is spewing out streetwalkers, boys in mini-skirts, Superman, Lois Lane, Wolfman, and a really great looking go-go girl in white boots and sequined dress. Surreal.
Inside the party was rolling. Saw some favorite regulars, had a nice conversation with a Catholic young man.
I left feeling better, even if no one else did. And we all know it's about me, right?



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