Thursday, June 04, 2009

Things That Make the Day Go Faster - Sad Edition

Sadly, not every thing that makes the day go faster is a funny thing. Yesterday and this morning were full, rich, and yesterday sped by. Our customers were not up to their usual antics. These were Serious. These were Sad.

Yesterday morning was a sad example of public service in an urban setting. We have a wonderful teen area. Kids feel safe. Kids create. Vitality is rampant. And then a girl passes out from and OD. A first for us in the teen area. Non-Responsive. Paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital. How will she do? We do not and can not know.

We don't know her name. She is One of Ours. We'll see her again or we will not.

Within the same hour, a known sexual offender permanently trespassed appeared in the teen center sporting an ankle bracelet. The kind that tracks offenders in the community. Police were called. By the time they arrived he was already putting the moves on a girl.

We know his name. He is One of Ours. If we ever see him again, it will be a very long time.

Later in the day, while serving at a public desk, I was alerted to a regular customer snoozing in our comfy chairs. The customer usual worked the area around the front planter, helping others in need find assistance in addiction recovery. He was not only snoozing but snoring so loudly it echoed in an open area the size of a soccer field. He was roused. He was beyond tired. He was in a severely altered state, moving in slow motion, pausing to sleep on his feet and snore some more. It took half an hour to get him 10 feet to the elevator. He refused our offer to call for medical assistance and slowly walked away. This morning he was found dead in the park next door.

We knew his name. He was One of Ours. We will never see him again.

At these times, I am comforted by a Spiritual I am familiar with from the gospel group Sweet Honey in the Rock:

Cain't no one know at sunrise
how this day is gonna end.
Cain't no one know at sunset
if the next day will begin.

In this world of trouble and woe,
a Member had better be ready to go.
We look for things to stay the same,
but in the twinkling of an eye,
everything can be changed.

Cain't no one know at sunrise
how this day is gonna end.
Cain't no one know at sunset
if the next day will begin.

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