narcoleptic fullness and pubs
Wow ppl. Did I just have a great day or what?! So full of stuff- lovely.
It started out with me rolling out of bed at 8- after maybe 6 hours sleep. I met Judy in the Leverrett courtyard and we walked to the
Pretty much everyone I had spoken with on the phone for different things for the shelter all summer was there. The first presentation was about MassHealth coverage reform and I pretty much nodded off in the middle of it. I wasn't too interested, but that wasn't really the issue- I just couldn't stay awake in a sitting position. After the third belly poke from Judy I decided to just stand up.
*Interruption: Dance Break- David Bowie's Queen Bitch- hooah!
K- So then there was a neat presentation about government system change being slow like a turtle and the lady presenting skillfully managed a potentially inflammatory situation with a client who was in attendance who had grievances about one of the shelters in the city. She even was able to credit him for making good points and tie his ideas into her own talk- impressive. Then on the way out I made a good contact with someone who I think can help one of our shelter guests out big time so that was a nice feeling.
Next, to a nice little café, to watch Judy tune out completely into a thesis zone while I read Foucault and drew her unwitting face in my sketchpad. (Did I mention that I've been keeping a sketchpad this summer? I am- nothing too impressive yet, but it's muscle flexing.) Stayed for another hour alone and had the brilliant idea of turning around to face sunlight strewn
Did some work at PBHA, managed a fundraising fiasco, and met a Judy to open the shelter with the dented white van. On the way to the van, we bumped into yet another one of our success story guests from earlier this summer. I was really proud of him because he had very maturely confronted someone who had taken advantage of him, and it seems, might have gotten himself into a really cool alternative, religious, farming, communal livingish type program for the next year- the place sounds like a pseudo hippie, commune, dojo- it's perfect for him.
Arrived a bit late to the shelter- only 4 guests left, but we spent the evening rather productively with each of them and not all the discussions/issues were that simple. The guest we met earlier this morning stopped by during dinner to pick up the rest of his stuff. It was one of the most emotional moments of the program. I really wished that I had a camera for it.
Some background. I love this guy. I call him Elmo, when no one's listening. He's amazing! SO sweet and grateful. He has more gratitude than - just about anyone. I can't speak with him, or even write this without welling up with some deep emotion- pride, awe, love- just - wow. He got so much out of the program, the rules were common sense to him and it was laughable that we had to have him sign them to begin with. He sounds like someone who must not have had that much to deal with, but he has actually dealt with some of the most serious issues of anyone in the shelter all summer. He knew what he stood to loose during this time and it was substantive for him. He's fragile and looks it sometimes. He's missing most of his two front teeth. And through it all he's had resilience of steel and a heart of gold.
Line of the evening came when I was getting him some toiletries to take with him to the long term transitional program he's heading to. He took some shaving cream and razors, some soap, etc. Then when I offered him some toothbrushes, he said "what do I need a toothbrush for? I've got no teeth!" and started to cackle- quite contagiously too as soon after Judy and I were soon yipping in straights right along with him. He gave me a big bear hug before he left- stringy and breakable as he seems.
After some laughs in Leverrett with my roommates I returned something from Judy to Talya at her apartment on my way to meeting my friend Shimon at a bar. We went to The Cellar- a really fun bar on the way to
And now- to bed- and coffee with Michael Simon (Tegan's favorite stalker and Hillel's director of programming) in the morning. I love busy days when I can handle them- nothing fazed me today and I feel really satisfied.