Yesterday I had lunch at the luxurious W hotel in downtown Dallas. John had a burger, Terry and Aaron had the pork loin and I had the garlic risotto. We talked about the books we were all working on, and Jon told me how writing his was so hard he cried through every chapter. We had a writer’s workshop – in hopes of talking through the power of putting your life on paper. When we walked in I must admit the staff treated us with dignity, though we all looked pretty rough from our time on the street.
We sat down, the waiter treated my friends with respect and we ate like kings. Aaron acted as if he was in his element. “The entrée has a fine taste,” he remarked with the expertise of a seasoned food critic. Jon picked apart his burger forgoing the bun. “I’m diabetic,” he explained. At nineteen now, he’s lived on the street for a long time after killing too many people to count in retribution for the murder of the love of his life – his mother. (He served time – tried as a child at age 12.) I love this boy as a son, and he’s not very angry anymore. He and the others teach me more than they know about love and life, and we talk about things that matter.
I’m not trying to be Mother Teresa. Just doing God’s work in hopes that we can lift each other up, and maybe even out. Jon has written about his time as a gang member and the death of his mom. Nathan writes about addiction. These are the things that can keep someone stuck – whether you live in suburbia or in Rye Shelter. Sometimes all you need is an angel.