No pictures today, just a story.
Have I ever told y’all about the characters who come into the shop to chat? Mr. Doom and Gloom, Creepy Child Molester Guy and Used To Be A Warlock Guy? I can’t really talk about the first two for fear they or some of their family might happen across the blog and take offense even though no offense would be intended. But the third, I believe it’s safe to mention and I feel his story needs to be told. The first two have stopped coming in, but Used To Be A Warlock Guy lives nearby and still stops in once or twice a month. Some day I’ll try to get a picture.
He’s a grizzled fellow. Shorter side of medium height, thin, but brawny. He often sports a woolly, white beard. His eyes are wizened and he has, perhaps, 5 teeth. I thought he was a rough looking 70, but he’s only 58. He claims to be Native American adopted into a white family.
He rides a tricked out bicycle, looking as much like a motorcycle as a bicycle can look. He was in construction work before he got disability. It seems like maybe he said he hurt his back? But he also has severe asthma. Maybe even emphysema on top of that. He wheezes when he breathes.
Unless he can pick up an odd job or two, he lives alone off $500 a month disability in a haunted house owned by his step daughter and pays her rent. He has no running water or electricity. Gets water from the neighbors to wash up and flush the toilet. Uses kerosene light at night. He spends his money on food, rent and marijuana and usually runs out (of money, food and joints) before the end of the month. He eats a lot of his meals at the rec center. I’m not sure if those meals are free or if they ask a small charge. But he’s a proud man. He will ask for help, but he doesn’t beg. He just says something like, “Got to go see if I can find someone to loan me money for lunch,” never asking directly. Usually, if I have it, I’ll give it.
And he used to be a warlock. He practiced black magic. The bad stuff. Really bad. And claims to know other local people who do the same. But he’s been saved and called to preach. However, he says he has two habits he needs to give up before he feels he can preach — cussin’ and marijuana. He wonders if he can still get into Heaven having led the life he’s led. He has a hard time accepting the fact that he’s been pardoned.
Sometimes he seems highly intelligent, if uneducated. Other times he says the most off the wall stuff that is so very unintelligent. He’s awfully gullible at times, believing the most outrageous rumors or his reasoning of the facts is askew.
Sometimes he smells – really bad – and I have to spray the shop after he’s left. Other times he’s fine. He’s lonely and once he gets started talking, I can’t get a word in edgewise and he just won’t stop. I usually find his conversations interesting, but frankly I don’t have time to stand there an hour and listen, but there’s no getting rid of him. Everyone tells me how to do it, but they just don’t understand. First, I do have compassion and hate to be rude and I know he needs someone to talk to. Why not me? I’ll be blessed for it. Second, I’ve tried and nothing works. When Lisa had her monogramming in the shop, she said I was too soft and that she’d get rid of him. Ha! She couldn’t either. She was sucked into the conversation more than I was.
So lift him up in prayer whenever you think of it. He’s thankful for what he has. Thankful he’s not living under a bridge somewhere and thankful he can eat most of the month. And thankful for his wacky weed.
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