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, April 19, 2013

Meditation on Delusion

Last night on the street, I had someone tell me a story. I can't tell you any of the details, just to preserve some shred of pastoral confidentiality. It was utterly delusional.

When I think about what I heard, I can only shake my head. Poor guy. It's not going to end well.

I've had many delusions shared with me through the years. Here are just a few.

"Satellites control my thoughts." The guy even directed me to a website where there was an x-ray of the device which (he believed) was implanted in his head. Proof!

"I just (choose one) won a million dollars/inherited three million dollars/designed a new computer part worth a million dollars."  Last time I checked, all three of those guys are either in a homeless shelter, or sleeping on a sympathetic person's sofa.

"That Swedish blonde I've been corresponding with online won't mind me being (pick one or both) twice her age/twice her weight."

"I'm just fine." This was said to me by someone lying fully prone on his back, in the middle of an alley on a hot day in downtown Seattle. When he lifted his head off the pavement to reassure me, I could see that the chewing gum in the alley had wound itself around his hair. Fine, indeed.

"I'm homeless because my old lady kicked me out. It has nothing to do with my drinking." So, maybe if you sober up, she'll let you come home?

One thing I've noticed: The delusions of others are always more ridiculous than our own.

Where are those doughnuts?


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