Monday, November 22, 2010

Bags Under My Eyes

Sunday morning, I woke up at about 9 am. I went down to the Dauphin Fellowship, where I was accosted by someone who informed me that he had walked past me when I was playing the previous night, and had seen that I had some money in my case; therefore, he reasoned that I had to have cigarettes, and that I should give him one. He offered, as his reasoning, the tired argument of "us all" being out on the street "together," and needing to share whatever we may have with each other. This belief is more firmly held by those who never seem to have anything to share, than by those who do.
This has happened each week that I have attended the service at that particular church, where free coffee is available. The previous week, it put me in a bad mood, and it took me a full half hour to forgive the beggars their trespasses, as they forgave me for trespassing against them by not giving them cigarettes.
At the Fellowship Baptist church, I seem to be tho only one there who smokes, and I wind up standing by my lonesome in the parking lot, feeling ashamed and ostrisized. Nobody asks me for a cigarette.
The feelings are about equal, and will be non issues whenever I quit smoking.

The church service inside focused upon "thanksgiving." When it was my turn to mention something that I was thankful for, I resisted the temptation to say "for the almost full pack of cigarettes in my pocket." Instead, I gave thanks for having another day and another opportunity to try to quit smoking and drinking. It had a positive effect in my life until the football games started in the afternoon, and I had a couple "football game beers."
I had been down by the railroad tracks, grabbing some clothes to wash at Cooper's Park, when a slow moving train reminded me that I could grab onto it and get an easy ride down to the Exxon, to grab beer and then go behind it to listen to the football broadcast on my cheap AM radio.
I didn't catch the train, but I stashed my backpack in the bushes, to lighten my load, and was satisfied that I would have an easy walk to the Exxon.
I Find Two Handbags
I got a Steel Reserve, and an Earthquake, and walked past the beggar in front of the store, who didn't ask me for anything, because he has been conditioned by my repeated refusals to yield to his petitions in the past. These refusals usually come with a wisecrack, which I try to make up on the spot. I try to be original and not use the same wisecrack twice on any bum. This at least turns the experience of being harassed into a mental exercise and thus sharpens my mind.
I walked around the back of the store, having stored "I was just going to ask YOU for one, bro" in my memory banks for future reference, when I found two large handbags, laying on the side of the road, where only those who are trying to hide and drink beer and listen to football, go.
They were full of things other than money or credit cards. I hid them in the tall grass, after pulling out a small purse which had information about the owner.
I didn't want to be seen carrying them down Water Street, especially if they had been freshly stolen, or freshly reported stolen. I resolved to find the owner of the bags, who seems to be a white (tanning booth receipts) lady (named "Michelle" Tallent) who has two cars (a 2003, and a 2007, both insured by Progressive until 2011) and who buys eggs, perhaps even eats them, and has a daughter named Autumn, who's health is insured.
The bags seemed expensive, made of soft leather like what is used to make sofas, and and smelled of expensive-smelling perfume. There was a Marlboro Light cigarette box with two cigarettes in it, leading me to think that nobody from the Dauphin Fellowship was the thief.
After the finding and hiding of the bags, I began my easy walk back to where my own backpack was hidden. I thought it ironic that, while I was safeguarding Michelle Tallent's bag, some scum"bag" may have been pilfering MY bag. I figured that, if I was worried about mine, then Michelle may have been worrying about hers, provided she is still alive, after being robbed of her bags.
I then directed my steps towards Cathedral Park, to continue listening to the games, and to share my cheap AM radio's output with the guy who carries everything he owns around in a huge quintupled-lined trash bag. He is usually at that spot on Sundays, watching the games on the TV across the street, in Heroes Pub.
I picked up a third beer, and went to the park to find the guy who carries everything he owns around in a huge quintuple-lined trash bag, sitting on a bench, next to his huge trash bag. He is one of the few homeless guys who have little fear of anybody running off with their bags, as, there are few people who are strong enough to actually run, carrying a 50 pound bag, the size of the one Santa Claus' carries.
Jeff Shows Up, Leaves In Disgust
Along came Jeff, who had his youngest son, Jarod with him. They were walking their little dog, which is part Dachshund.
I immediately felt guilty about the can of beer, which I had hidden behind Gerald's bag, and was drinking off of. (Gerald is the name of T.G.W.C.E.H.O.I.A.H.Q.L.T.B., and is easier to type. I have previously referred to Gerald as "The poor man's Santa Clause," but this was before I knew his Christian name, and was never intended to be derogatory.)
Jeff mentioned that we still had time to make the evening service at his church. I thought that I would have to gulp down the rest of my beer pretty fast in order to make it to the church on time.
Then, along came John The Street Preacher, who exchanged pleasantries with Jeff, and who was already acquainted with Gerald.
I sipped my beer and lit up a cigarette and wondered which one of us was the worst role model for young Jarod. I'm sure Jeff The Potter doesn't want to see him grow up drinking and smoking, nor speaking in tongues, nor carrying everything he owns in a huge bag.
Jeff The Potter soon left, and didn't return.
John The Street Preacher theorised that he left because he felt uncomfortable about inviting me to church, without inviting him.
Gerald just said that, a lot of times he himself just walks away without really saying anything.
I figured that he didn't want to bring me to church smelling like beer, or that he didn't want to drag me away from the game, with the Giants on the 32 yard line and going for it on 4th down and 3.
I Try To Return The Bags
I ran into a cop at the Shell station and gave him the little purse, explaining how I had found it. He was the same officer who told me that I couldn't play on Water Street, in the median strip. He questioned me suspiciously about why I hadn't brought the thing to the police the day before, and accused me of having gone through the bags and removed all the money and credit cards. He didn't seem too concerned about getting the bags back to Michelle Tallent.
Only I know where they are hidden.
I just hope that she hasn't been the victim of any foul play, for her sake, and for my own, in case they want to lock me up and interrogate me about the bags.

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