Tuesday, November 21, 2006
After All The Words...Real Life
This is just a story that happens to be true and recent so I'm just going to tell what happened but you will have to indulge me some commentary.
I stood in the November night at the bus depot waiting for the 17 for my final leg home. I was talking to a friend on my cell phone when a skull named Anna pulled nose to nose with me. Maybe 75lbs. at 5'6", she had the paper white face of a heroin addict doing some speed to scare up money for the next heroin fix. Her face was marked with raised sores, staph infection probably spread evenly throughout the street meth and heroin crowd.
I ended my call. Her bruised eyes lit! "Timothy, do you have some money you could spot me?"
For the first second I knew the absolute moral imperitive provided to me. No questions, no doubt. A type of purity of certainty that I had never felt before. I knew I should brush off the money, tell her I had a spare room and plenty of food, dvds, meetings we could go to - invite her in to help her heal. And hope she didn't steal too much from me.
The next second arrived and I reached into my wallet and gave her enough money to stay warm, fed, and high through Thanksgiving without giving blow jobs behind buildings for money. She started to thank me and tell me all of the things she could do with the money - new clothes that she hadn't been sleeping in on the street, a phone card to get ahold of her friend to find a place to crash. I stopped her with my fingers to her lips and kissed the back of my own hand. "I can't save you, Anna." I whispered into the space between us. We knew she'd get her fix and at that moment I couldn't pretend I was rescuing her. I was just prolonging her damnation.
This was no "too close to call" moral dilemma. This was a burning bush backed up by the Heavenly Host and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir pointing at a sign that read "YOU COULD TRY TO SAVE HER" and I chose the Path Of Least Commitment