Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Now I Know How the Innkeeper Felt. . .

Dear Mr. Newly Homeless with a Suitcase Guy,


But I couldn't look you in the eye.

I know you were neat. . . and clean-shaven. . .and well-spoken. . . and nicely dressed. . . and even intelligent. . .

And I know you never thought you'd find yourself in these circumstances. . .down on your luck. . . in a strange town. . . leaving your suitcase at the front door of a church. . . looking for a place to spend the night. . .

But you - Mr. Newly Homeless with a Suitcase Guy - are more frightening than most of the homeless population here combined. For you are just a little too close to being like me.

You need too much.

And even though I offered to watch your suitcase while you went for intake interviews at the Mission and the Homeless Shelter, I still couldn't look you in the eye. 'Cause I knew - like you - that you didn't belong in either of those places.

It stunk.

And I know you were fishing.

I know what you thought. . . if I could just engage her in conversation. . . . tell her my tale. . . win her over . . . perhaps she'll help me. . . give me money for a hotel room. . . let me stay here. . . put me up for the night. . .

I could taste your desperation.

And that's why I purposely didn't look at you.

No room in the inn.

I drove away at the end of the day and left you and your suitcase talking on your cell phone.

And if it matters at all to you, I felt like crap.

And still do.

And just what was in that suitcase anyway??? When I had a quick moment of panic and realized there could be a bomb in there, I tried to move it. Let me guess. . . your rock collection? The family china? Or are bombs really that heavy????